A Monster Who Levels Up
Creator - A_Passing_Wanderer
Editor - akshaythedon
It's disheartening. When you see more comments on a site that has stolen your work, it tells you those readers spit on you. When they thank thieves for the chapter, have engrossing conversations, and support others...It tells us as creators that you do not care for the work we put in.
Out of all the large sites out there, JFB receives probably the least in terms of donations. Doesn't phase us. But the creators that provide you with chapters sometimes 5-10x a week, and you can't even read the chapter on the very platform they put their work on? That is another story. That is you disregarding everything that we are.
Some may ask, 'What is the point of continuing?', if you despise us so much. You rather read from thieves.
To those I see read on Fantasy-Books, with JFB every day, I thank you. I notice you. Sarcht, GonZ555, Mesmerised, Nisem, jppe, Belkar, LightDX, jhodyac, GM_Rusaku, DOHere, Shirou, and a few others. I've noticed you. You have supported Fantasy-books/JFB for a while just from your comments here and there.
And there are a few who have donated. It is you that keep us going. As for those few thousand people (yes, thousands) that spit on us, reading and thanking those that steal from us.
You disgust me. And I'm proud to tell you.
(TL: Oops. I made a boo-boo with the title of the last chapter. This one’s the correct one. I’ve corrected it, but if you are not seeing it, well, buddy, I’ve got a bad news for ya: you are reading this chapter off a pirate site, not on Fantasy Books like you suppose to!! Hah! Kekeke.)
– It has been now confirmed that the excerpt from the grimoire number 26, written personally by the Wizard of Bangbae-Dong, does mention ‘balls of flame descending from the distant skies’. Opinions of experts in the Wizarding community are divided regarding those words that invoke the images of the spell ‘Meteor’, but even until now, the Wizard of Bangbae-Dong has not revealed the true name of the spell yet.
– This new Bangbae-Dong grimoire that has caused yet another huge stir in the world is planned to be distributed to the Dawn & TM Wizard Tower first; experts believe this will only serve to increase the number of Wizards buttering up to Dawn & TM Tower…
Things were still chaotic for the media and TV stations. The interest and fervor of the Wizards directed towards the new grimoire were just that huge. It was understandable, since the book was rumoured to contain the recreation of a certain legendary spell, after all.
Whatever the case might have been, thanks to this grimoire alone, the number of applicants for the Dawn & TM’s Wizard Tower reached 6785, which excluded the applicants from other countries. If one considered the fact that the total number of Wizards in Korea did not exceed 80000, it was indeed an enormous figure – but even then, that was the figure with the Wizards below C class and judged to be lacking in potential and talent were eliminated from the counting process. In other words, the remaining ones were the cream of the crop.
And so, Yu Sae-Jung was spending everyday on the proverbial cloud nine after getting the acknowledgment from her grandfather for her business acumen – but well, Sae-Jin himself wasn’t all that interested in it, personally speaking.
“Still haven’t received the coordinates yet?” (Sae-Jin)
A meeting was being held in the secret conference room located below the Guild’s HQ.
“Please wait for a moment. I have received the coordinates but, as for the mental images of the interior… Ah, I’ve received them, master!&r
dquo; (Rhosrahdel) (TL: For the record, Rhosrahdel isn’t calling Sae-Jin master as in Guild Master, but as his “owner”. Hence, I didn’t use capital M.)
Rhosrahdel smiled brightly at Sae-Jin. However, the title this young Vampire used to call Sae-Jin got on his nerves a bit, so his forehead creased up quite deeply.
“How many times do I have to tell you not to call me master?” (Sae-Jin)
“If it’s not that, then how should I address you? Since I’m not a Guild member, I can’t even call you Guild Master…” (Rhosrahdel)
Rhosrahdel complained while revealing a bit of his real intent. However, it was Yi Hye-Rin who suppressed that sly request to join the Guild.
That was the sound of a palm smashing into a person’s back.
“Stop muttering nonsense and tell us the coordinates already.” (Yi Hye-Rin)
“Ah-euh, that hurts. Seriously… Fine, fine.” (Rhosrahdel)
Rhosrahdel jotted down the coordinates on a piece of paper, and then transmitted the mental images of the cavern’s interior to Sae-Jin via their link. Sae-Jin closed his eyes and studied the interior for a bit, memorising good spots where they could hide in.
“Is that okay, master?” (Rhosrahdel)
“…Yeah, sure. Good enough.” (Sae-Jin)
Sae-Jin opened his eyes with a long sigh. At the same time, Rhosrahdel’s face went rigid. It seemed that he had received a new telepathic message from Bathory.
“Well, master.” (Rhosrahdel)
“…Stop calling me a master already.” (Sae-Jin)
“Bathory says to come over to where she is.” (Rhosrahdel)
“Okay, then. Get going.” (Sae-Jin)
“No, I mean, not me… She wants master to come over.” (Rhosrahdel)
Sae-Jin tilted his head.
“Why so suddenly?” (Sae-Jin)
“I’ve no clue.” (Rhosrahdel)
After receiving the summons, Sae-Jin went to the former underground city of Nosferatus which now belonged to Bathory.
“May 6th? Cool. I’ll help you.” (Bathory)
“….And how do you plan to do that, exactly?” (Sae-Jin)
“I’ll call out all the retainers working with the Lord on his research or whatever, telling them there’s something urgent we need to take care of.” (Bathory)
She gave out a rather insincere answer.
“And how will you call them out?” (Sae-Jin)
“I’ll take care of that, so you don’t have to worry your little mind, mkay? Heum~, hmm~~.” (Bathory)
Her attitude was way to discourteous. Sae-Jin’s forehead creased up automatically after seeing her busy messing around with her smartphone, considering that she was the one who wanted him here.
“What are you so busy with?” (Sae-Jin)
“Oh, I’m just checking out a couple of articles online. These ants are so adorable, you know? Hey, here, this number next to this thumb-up sign, that’s telling me the number of ants agreeing with this opinion praising me, right?” (Bathory)
She pointed at the phone’s screen and asked him. There was a comment section attached to an article praising Emil Rerheu’s martial prowess, and 7300 were agreeing with it, while 3400 weren’t.
“Yeah, correct.” (Sae-Jin)
“So, that means 7300 likes Emil Rerheu. Good. But what about these 3400? Can you found out who they are?” (Bathory)
“What will you do if you find them?” (Sae-Jin)
“Kill them, of course.” (Bathory)
All those anonymous somebodies living somewhere were now in danger of being murderised by the origin of all things evil, just because they touched the wrong spot on the screen of their phones…
“Hey, I am just kidding you. It’s a joke. So stop forming such a serious expression, you idiot.” (Bathory)
Bathory smirked and put her phone down, then handed a box over to Sae-Jin. It was an ancient and old-fashioned box that wouldn’t have been out of place if it were found within the pages of Old Testament.
“And this is?” (Sae-Jin)
“The Lord’s weakness is inside. It’s nothing much, just a gift wishing for your success, is all.” (Bathory)
“….A weakness?” (Sae-Jin)
“Yup. Even if he is the Lord, because he’s so old now, all his senses, including eyesight, hearing, whatever, are in steep decline. Even the might of his ‘eyes that see everything’ is no longer what it used to be. Well~, even if you fail to carry out your plans, I’d love it if you still manage to get rid of that eye for me. It’s so annoying, see?” (Bathory)
Sae-Jin cautiously opened the lid, trying not to damage the box. A silver knife glistened coldly within the black interior.
“Right. But it’s not a regular silver, nope. It’s the silver refined by my homeworld’s much more powerful sunlight, you know? Now normally, a Vampire has two weaknesses – sunlight and silver. This here is the thing combining both of those.” (Bathory)
“If that’s the case…” (Sae-Jin)
Grasping the knife, Sae-Jin glared at Bathory with the unreadable light in his eyes. After sensing his intent, Bathory’s eyes arched slightly. But she wasn’t angry or anything like that.
“Even if those are Vampire’s weaknesses, we can’t even feel them when we are young and full of vitality. But the Lord is different. He’s really old, you see. If you cut him with that knife, his flesh will start rotting away. And he won’t be able to regenerate himself even with a single cut.” (Bathory)
Sae-Jin wielded the silver knife this way and that. It had a really plain exterior. It looked like he should slice steak with it instead of a person’s flesh – and even then, since ‘rare’ was too tough, maybe ‘well-done’ instead. (TL: Uh, no, mister Author, ‘rare’ is softer to chew, actually…)
After watching him for a bit with a satisfied smile on her face, Bathory added some cautionary words as well.
“Hey kid. You shouldn’t take this too lightly. The Lord has achieved the peak of all peaks in Chimera engineering, you know?”
And with that, she poured in all her focus back on the smartphone. Seeing her fingers quickly fidgeting away, Sae-Jin wondered whether she was trying to manipulate the public sentiment all by herself or not.
Sae-Jin smirked and spoke.
<< fantasy-books Property >>
“I’m leaving.” (Sae-Jin)
Bathory didn’t bother to reply – only the sounds of that unique SFX of the phone’s onscreen keyboard being pressed echoed in the silence.
The date was set ten days from now, on 20th of April. (TL: Eh? But what happened to May 6th? This author can’t even remember what he wrote a couple of pages ago…)
Although he acted all relaxed and ready, the pressure emanating from the title ‘Vampire Lord’ wasn’t something Sae-Jin could carelessly receive at all. Unable to do anything about the heaviness weighing down on his heart, Sae-Jin ended up taking a stroll through the underground village of Nosferatus.
Set up next to the Goblin’s village, the base for the Nosferatus actually was quite beautiful to look at. An old-school castle, seemingly plucked straight out from medieval times, stood tall enough to pierce the ceilings, and the more ‘normal’ looking stone and brick houses surrounded it.
A ‘city’ built within the darkness, a spitting image of their home back in their original world. To Vampires that hated sunlight, this might as well be their one true paradise.
“You will succeed.” (Lillia)
While he was quietly taking it all in, Lillia approached Sae-Jin and handed over a mug of coffee.
Did he look that troubled? Sae-Jin forced out a smile.
“I should hope so.” (Sae-Jin)
“No, you will succeed. The Lord will die, and everyone will return safe and sound. Mister Sae-Jin will return home, reminisce and write on his diary – it’ll be like that sort of… a happy ending. Of course, there should be some other complications, though.” (Lillia)
An imperceptible smile spread on Sae-Jin’s lips. He sipped on the coffee and asked her about something he was curious about.
“By the way, how’s the life down here?” (Sae-Jin)
It was impossible for Vampires to absorb nutrition through any other means except through drinking blood. It was because, besides the mouth and oesophagus, a Vampire did not possess other digestive organs. They were born with a completely different structure of the body, as well as the methods of survival, compared to regular human beings.
Maybe, it was an inevitability that Vampires would end up being the enemy of mankind.
However, Sae-Jin thought that in the modern world, there was no such a thing as inevitability and all that.
The current Earth and the world which the level of science hadn’t even caught up to Earth’s Middle Ages – and where the Vampires originated from – couldn’t even be compared at all. No matter how much magic and Mana rampaged about, the accumulated pool of scientific knowledge still managed to exist in the modern world.
Not only the science didn’t get swept aside via the advent of Mana, it survived, and even marched further forward thanks to injection of magic and Mana as the basis for technology to revolutionise.
That was why, there was no ‘impossibility’ in the modern world.
No, there were only ‘the things that haven’t been tried yet’ and ‘the things that have been tried before’.
So, Sae-Jin decided to come up with new sources of nutrients for Vampire’s exclusive consumption. This idea came about after realising the simple truth about Vampires being able to drink potions.
And that vague outline of an idea finally bore fruit in the form of a prototype liquid after six months of arduous research.
A magical liquid that sent all the necessary nutrients to the entire body as soon it was drunk.
With this much, Vampires should no longer feel the disgust towards drinking bovine or swine blood.
Of course, Wizards capable of handling Mana were required during the manufacturing process, but as it was mentioned before, there were 6785 applicants wishing to join TM’s Wizard Tower, so…
And Nosferatus went on a drive to improve their diet with the aid of this drink.
“There are a few of us who find it difficult to adjust, but it’s better than expected. We’re moving forward nicely.” (Lillia)
“That’s a relief to hear. I’m planning to add the flavour of ‘meat’, something I hear you have never tasted before until now, so please do look forward to it.” (Sae-Jin)
Well, a few Wizards might have to slave away like crazy, though.
“Fuhut. That’s a nice news to hear. Yes, I’ll look forward to it.” (Lillia)
“Chief Lillia! Over here, please!”
From somewhere, a man’s loud shout came towards them. Lillia smiled after hearing that shout containing that person’s scent, and stood up from her seat.
“Then, I shall be on my way. Mister Sae-Jin should also return home – although, it’s fine if you want to stay for a while longer, too.” (Lillia)
Her voice was gentle and kind.
He followed suit and got up as well.
“Sure, take care. I should also get going now.” (Sae-Jin)
Lillia left, and Sae-Jin headed off to the exit located on the opposite side to the underground village.
Then, a certain thought popped up in his head.
‘…How did she know that I keep a diary?’
However, his legs moved again towards the exit after he told himself that her words simply meant those everyday routines, like wash your face before going to bed, etc, etc.
The giant called time took hefty strides forward and before long, ten days flew by at the blink of an eye; the date today was 20th of April.
The day they were waiting for.
The members about to participate in this plan gathered in the underground conference room while decked out in expensive artifacts like some kind of Christmas trees.
“Hang on, wouldn’t each one of us reach a value of close to a billion dollars, dressed like this?” (Yi Hye-Rin)
Yi Hye-Rin muttered loudly as she rubbed the belt-style high-class artifact. Most likely, she tried to diffuse the tension with her question.
“A billion is too much, so maybe 500 million?” (Yu Baek-Song)
“Combine Mana Tattoos to that and any one of us shoots past a billion, easy. I mean, the inflation nowadays is so crazy during these uncertain times.” (Kim Sun-Ho)
Yu Baek-Song and Kim Sun-Ho replied. Sae-Jin chuckled a little bit, before changing into the Leviathan.
“Let’s cut the chit chat and get going. Please gather around.” (Sae-Jin)
“Wha? What the?!”
“You can speak even in the Leviathan’s appearance?” (Kim Yu-Rin)
Kim Yu-Rin asked out aloud after hearing the Leviathan’s charmingly baritone voice.
“Yes, I can. But let’s talk about that later and gather around me. In order to raise the accuracy, you guys need to stick close to me.” (Sae-Jin)
Remembering the first time they moved via instant transmission, where their faces ended up slamming into the ground, the members quickly sneaked up next to Sae-Jin’s position. And then, they slowly closed their eyes while feeling the surprisingly soft and squishy scales of the Leviathan.
Sae-Jin also closed his eyes. After recalling the coordinates once more, he also recalled the images of the cavern’s interior he memorised earlier, as well.
“Here we go.” (Sae-Jin)
Suddenly, a strong dizziness swept by his brain.
But that was only for a short moment. The party staggered while opening their eyes. The thick darkness welcomed them.
Sae-Jin reverted back to his human appearance while looking at the far end of the lengthy cavern. No matter how powerful the Leviathan was, it was simply far too slow outside the body of water.
“Whew…. Okay, let’s go. From now on, Knight Kim Yu-Rin will take the lead.” (Sae-Jin)
“Right. Everyone, Be very quiet and follow me. Remain mindful of how you breathe, even.” (Kim Yu-Rin)
Following right behind Kim Yu-Rin, the party walked forward in the darkness. Not even five minutes had passed by, yet their faces were soaked in sweat from the taut tension gripping them tightly.
And another hour passed by like that.
*SFX for strange vibrations*
An ominous tremor spread into their ears. Kim Yu-Rin was hurriedly trying to shout out in alarm, but…
But before she could, the darkness bleached out and the space got flipped on her.
Kim Yu-Rin had to close her eyes for a moment and reopen them due the blinding whiteness.
The pure white that tormented her eyes had been replaced by a deep navy blue. Worse still, she couldn’t spot the rest of the party that should’ve been there with her in this new space.
That was, with the exception of Kim Sae-Jin.
With a flustered face, Sae-Jin spoke while looking at Kim Yu-Rin.
“Looks like the Lord has caught onto us.” (Sae-Jin)
Kim Yu-Rin surveyed the surroundings with a frustrated face.
“Seems like it.” (Kim Yu-Rin)
It was right then.
The Lord’s voice reverberated through the cavern.
Two people present heard it clearly, the words….
– An Orc, and a human. Welcome.
…The words uttered out by the Lord.
< 45. The Entry (2) > Fin.
(TL: $45 out of $50 left for this week’s first sponsored chapter.)
(TL: Also, my bad about that cliff…)