A Monster Who Levels Up
As soon as he came back home, Sae-Jin scoured the internet to find the cure for the Goblin’s curse.
There were two ways to deal with it.
One was to find a Wizard specialising in buffing magic to cast the purification spell, or to wait for the curse to naturally dissipate all on its own.
The former option took around four days to cure but it would cost him a pretty penny, while the latter required him to wait around for a minimum of three weeks.
"Hello? Miss Hazeline?"
That’s why he called Hazeline first. He figured that the professions of alchemists and Wizards had to have some kind of relationship with each other.
– "Oh, it’s you, Mister Sae-Jin. What’s up~?"
Fortunately for him, she happily greeted him while extending the end of her sentence.
"Ah, that is… I was…"
Sae-Jin significantly shortened the event as much as possible and explained it to her. As he was out hunting in the low Mid Tier hunting ground, he encountered a wayward Goblin Witchdoctor and ended up getting cursed by it.
– "Oh my gosh. Really? And it’s your arm, of all things… It’s a big trouble, that thing. Oh, but I’m currently in the airport getting ready to head overseas on another assignment right now… What should we do?"
"Maybe you know some other Wizard that can help me?"
– "I do know someone. But, will that be fine?"
Hazeline carefully asked him. Most alchemists hated, like a pathological illness, letting other people into their homes.
However, Sae-Jin didn’t suffer from such inflictions.
"Yes. I’ll be fine."
– "Ah, if you say so… I’ll send a Wizard who’s my junior to your home. Don’t worry about a thing and just wait for him to show up later. Ah, and I won’t tell him that you’re an alchemist so you should also watch what you say around him."
"Alright. Thank you so much. Well, I didn’t have to worry at all, then. I should have just called you the first thing."
– "Hehe. It’ll be fine. Then, please wait for him~."
The call ended with the friendly words from Hazeline. It looked like that this curse might be taken care of much easier than he thought.
Now that he didn’t have to worry about the dang thing anymore, Sae-Jin put the phone down and headed to the basement. It was the time to check out the witchcraft techniques he earned after killing that boss Goblin.
The spacious basement was divided into left and right workshops.
The one on the left was the alchemy workshop packed with tools, ingredients and Mana Stones for potion crafting, while the right side featured a sofa, the storage cabinet that stored several metal ingots as well as a glass display cabinet to show off all the items he had created so far - it was a blacksmithing workshop that just happened to not resemble one.
‘Let’s try out Spiritualisation first.’
Turning matter into a spirit form and storing it within the body, the so-called Spiritualisation. In order to test this technique, he took out a steel ingot from the storage cabinet.
While holding it, he closed his eyes and activated the spell. The solid steel became pliable like liquid, and then turned into a metal-coloured gas before entering his body.
[The spiritualised plain steel ingot has been absorbed into the host’s body, increasing the overall sturdiness. ⸢Level of Saturation 5/100⸥ (This increa
se is carried over to the other Forms.)]
– Durability rises by 7.
Outwardly, he didn’t seem all that different, but the feeling of his body becoming sturdier was definitely there.
Once more, it proved easier to understand by actually colliding head-on rather than wrestling with all those'em complicated words.
‘That Saturation level thing probably means that I can store things within me until 100 is reached.’
He accepted this and moved on to the next thing. This time, he checked out the weapons on display inside the glass cabinet. They were all made by him, but ended up being stashed here as he found it somewhat wasteful to submit them for the 2nd Round of judging in the Blacksmiths tournament.
He picked up a steel mace endowed with an attribute called "Material Destruction Level E". By endowing this mace with the ability to impact the cleavage plane of other materials, it could destroy other weapons one rank below it in terms of strength.
The technique activated according to his thoughts, and the mace turned into a spirit and again, entered his body.
[The spiritualised steel mace with an attribute rated level E has been stored, and a special effect has been applied to the body. ⸢Level of Saturation 50/100⸥]
– Physical Strength and Durability rise by 15 each.
– The attribute rated F-, ‘Material Destruction’, will be applied to the entire body.
Kim Sae-Jin murmured lowly in admiration. Without a doubt, this was very useful to him. With this technique, it should be possible for the human Kim Sae-Jin to be equipped with above-average strength from now on.
‘But, what about the Magic Tattoos…’
Next up was the turn of the Magic Tattoos. It seemed awfully useful, judging from its explanations alone.
But considering that it was pretty darn difficult to tattoo oneself, this technique seemed openly geared towards helping out others instead. That’s why it looked like a good fit for the boss-type Goblins. The so-called Chief would have performed the role of awarding these tattoos to other Goblins, after all.
*SFX for a doorbell chime*
He was busy debating whether to try this technique out for himself or not when the doorbell went off. Looked like the Wizard Hazeline referred to had arrived. He quickly ascended the stairs.
"Who is it?"
As he spoke the customary question, from beyond the door, a reply of "I’m a Wizard" in a man’s voice came back. Sae-Jin opened the door.
"Hello there. I’m Kim Yo-Han, the Wizard."
It was a Wizard wearing a blue-coloured robe. One could discern the ranks of a Wizard by the colour of the robe he or she was wearing. The blue colour denoted the rank of C. The ranking system used the English alphabet, starting from A, the highest, to F, which was the lowest.
"Nice to meet you. Please, come in."
Sae-Jin guided the Wizard to his living room.
Then, the two guys sat on the couch in a totally awkward silence.
"Should I start right away?"
"Please do. I’ll be in your care."
When Sae-Jin rolled up his sleeve on the arm with the curse, the Wizard let out a groan.
"Huh. It’s a lot worse than I thought. At minimum, it looks like you need to receive purification diligently for the next two weeks."
"Ah… Is that so?"
"Yes, unfortunately. I was taking it easy since I heard it’s a low Mid Tier curse but…. Maybe, from next time onwards, a Wizard better skilled than me might be needed here."
And then, more silence. The male Wizard continued to stare at the curse’s condition. No, from a certain point in time, he was studying Sae-Jin’s arm with a great interest, instead.
10 minutes went by, then 15.
"….What are doing?"
"…Eh? Oh, ah. My apologies. This…. your blood vessels seemed a bit different…. Keheum. I’ll start right away."
Only then did the Wizard place his hand on Sae-Jin’s affected arm and begin chanting.
That’s when the mysterious event occurred.
The Mana in the air converged towards his hand and formed the purest form of white light. This light made him feel comfortable and warm inside at the same time. Sae-Jin closed his eyes and enjoyed to the fullest this fuzzy, warm feeling.
Right at the same time, a new alert window popped up into his view.
It was a little bit, no scratch that, completely unrelated to what was happening here now.
[Condition complete: An Orc’s Joy - acknowledged by the critics, mass media and the general public.]
– The equipment created by the host has gained acknowledgment from numerous people. The Monster Form ‘Orc Warrior’ evolves to ‘Orc Jaguar’.
– All Stats related to the Forms rise.
When Sae-Jin let out a sound of puzzled exclamation, the Wizard inadvertently asked back.
After Sae-Jin killed off this sudden outburst of stupid exchange with a bout of silence, he picked up both his phone and the TV remote.
"Is it alright if I switch on the TV?"
"Ah, yes. It doesn’t matter. I’ve finished with the purification already."
"Yes. This purification effect will continue for the next 8 hours and fight against the curse. Normally, the first treatment always ends in failure. But by repeatedly doing this, we are weakening the curse bit by bit."
Sae-Jin nodded his head and waited. He was thinking that the Wizard would leave now since his work here was done.
However, the Wizard leaned back comfortably against the back of the couch and fixedly stared at the black TV screen.
So, Sae-Jin turned on the TV. The channel was set to 08. The program showing the Blacksmiths Tournament was on this channel.
– The Hotly Burning Flame Sabre crafted by ORK, also known as the Orc’s Forge K, has won the 2nd Round of judging by scoring an average point tally of 9.48!!
The show was already near the end.
– This sabre has a special Mana effect built-in, and ever since its appearance, it has garnered a great deal of attention from the critics and the Knights alike. And it has earned a drastically higher tally of points than the 2nd place finisher. Finally, a word from the hottest trending Knight right now. Let us hear the final comments from Miss Yu Sae-Jung.
The emcee then handed over the mic to Yu Sae-Jung.
– Thank you. Yes, it was truly a top-tier product. Not only its design, but the performance was perfect as well. There were parts that were still a bit lacking in terms of its hardness and strength, but still, this effect of Hotly Burning Flame, something I’ve never seen before, has proved to be the best addition of all.
Yu Sae-Jung uttered out these short words and expectantly stared at the emcee.
– Is that all?
– I believe that the next product from this blacksmith should truly be worth the wait.
– Alright~ Thank you for your words. Well then, we shall see you again in two months’ time, at the grand finale of the Open Invitational Blacksmiths Tournament!!
The program ended there. Sae-Jin picked up his phone and began browsing the internet.
He saw that the sabre he had made was a trending topic in the real time search results at various portal sites. Even the news outlets were busy reporting on it as well. Not only that, the local critics, blacksmiths, Knights, as well as international broadcasters were busy talking about his creation, the Hotly Burning Flame Sabre.
The tips of his lips rose up by themselves.
– 9:30 AM this morning, a Fissure measuring 500 metres in diameter opened up in the middle of Beijing, China. The Chinese government has revealed that they are still battling the Monsters pouring out from this Fissure, 8 hours after its eruption. This incident has once more demonstrated the insufficient abilities of the Chinese to counter the Monster threat…
Suddenly, the sounds of news broadcast assaulted his ears. Sae-Jin lifted his head to see what’s going on, only to find the Wizard sitting there as if this was his own home and busy playing with the remote.
When Sae-Jin asked, flabbergasted, the Wizard finally put the remote down and quickly got up.
"Ah, yes. I should get going now. And probably from next time onwards, a different Wizard will come by. That curse…. well, I think it’ll be tough for me to deal with at my current level."
"….Okay then. Take care."
Sae-Jin walked the Wizard out to the door, and returned back to the couch.
– Please take a look at the footage.
He was about to turn the TV off, but the footage shown there briefly stole his attention. In a word, it looked fantastical. It showed the combined efforts of countless Knights, Hunters and Wizards. The sword aura of the Knights split apart the earth, and the destructive magic spells from the Wizards slammed around like the winds of a tornado.
In the midst of the Wizards, Sae-Jin spotted someone who was quite familiar to him. A woman covered in a robe, ordering the troops around like a general in a battlefield while freely wielding the high level magic spells Thunderstrike and Galeforce Blade Winds.
Although he could only see the lower part of the face, he was quite sure of her identity, especially when looking at that slender nose and the chin line. Since one would need around 10 minutes to get to Beijing from Seoul using a Mana jet, even the time frame seemed to fit.
He only thought of her as an alchemist until now…. Totally speechless, he bore witness to the absolute domineering display of her battle prowess.
< 10. The Quickening (2) > Fin.