There were two ways to identify a skillbook. The number that denotes the level of the skill. And a subtle light that glows out of it. The book in my hand had neither of those.
In big lettering, there was written [How to use Combos].
On flipping to the first page, there was a drawing of 2 weapons and 3 ores.
“How to use combos? What’s that?”
“It looks like instructions on how to combine two weapons. What am I supposed to do with this?”
“According to the instructions, you would take two weapons and three monazites..combine them to create a random named item.”
A named item was referring to an item that already had a known name to it – like the bloodysword. To give you another example, the longsword I got from Park Jungbeh is a no name; meaning, it didn’t have a known name attached to it – it was a generic no brand. Nothing really special.
But a named item is different. Just like the bloodysword, a named item usually had a special option attached to it.
Depending on the type of option attached to a named item, the value of it can change proportionately. So I think it would make sense that investing in more valuable ores for the combos would result in a better quality weapon.
“Do you think this really works?”
“I mean, why wouldn’t it?”
It wouldn’t come out of an irregular if it didn’t work. The level 0 skillbook and the escape scroll both…were items that never appeared in the regular system of raids.
I carefully went through the entire book. I needed to carefully estimate just how valuable this book was.
The calculator in my head started tallying.
The level 1 weapons were currently selling for 50,000 dollars. It used to cost about 100,000 but they were listing for half their original price these days. It’ll probably fall even more to about 20-30,000 dollars very soon. I was going to wait until it falls as far as it can so that I can buy two and run some experiments.
“Just because something is a named item doesn’t mean it holds the double the value of a regular weapon. Of course if you’re lucky, you might chance on a named item that is several times the value of a regular weapon. But that’s a big “if”. You’re usually lucky if the named item is double the value of a regular item because it’s usually less than that. Just because we can combine two weapons into a named item doesn’t mean scraping up the money to do it is going to be any easy task.”
Plus we needed to take into consideration the cost of the ores as well. Monazites usually ran for 1,000 each. Unfortunately, with the level 1 dungeons disappearing…the price for these had also gone up significantly. They could not easily sell for 1,500 each.
If I were to invest in 3 monazites and 2 weapons, that would cost me upwards of 60,000 dollars. Would a level 1 named item that results from the combo exceed the 60,000 dollars I invest?
“That is hard.”
I flipped to the next page. This time it was instructions on combining armor. It was the same thing as with the weapon but the type of ore was different. It was a bastnazite.
The next page instructed on how to change the option of a named item. The only requirements were 3 ores.
“Hm. This one might be useful.”
“Keep flipping. What if there’s something that will raise the level of a weapon?”
“Hold your horses. That’s what I’m lookinng for too.”
They were all similar with just variations in ores and combinations until I flipped to the last chapter. Finally, I came to what I was looking for.
“2 Level 1 weapons and 3 blisolites…?”
“Ah. Isn’t that a pretty expensive ore? It’s also super radioactive…”
“And it’s rare. It’s probably selling for 3,000 dollars so if I have to buy three..that’s 9,000 dollars.”
“But if you think of it as raising the level of your equipment, it’s not too shabby.”
“The problem is, where in the world am I going to buy a blisolite.”
Rare ores were sold by the government. This was because high tech machines were used in extracting the useful elements of the ore. If we didn’t have such technology, mankind would probably collapse.
“I guess we have no choice but to get them from the dungeons ourselves.”
“It looks like we’ll be on a hunt for ores I didn’t even give half a thought to in my life.”
“All you need for items is money. But something rare…it’s easier to get it from the source if we can.”
If it meant a level up, buying 2 level 1 named items might not be a bad investment. Because if it was a named + named item…the item the results would most likely be a level 2 named item. That would definitely be worth it.
“It kind of sucks that there’s only one way to combo and upgrade to level 2.”
That was the last page with any writing on it. The rest of the pages were all blank. What I really needed right now was not a level 2 item but a level 3 item. I was able to realize this after my fight with the level 4 monster.
Of course I still felt confident I would win if I faced the same monster again. But the number one priority in any raid was safety. I couldn’t keep putting myself in unnecessary danger every time I went into a dungeon.
For that reason, it was always better to constantly try and acquire higher level equipment. No. It was important. But even if a level 3 item was a no named item, the cheapest one ran for over 500,000 dollars. If it was a named item, the starting price was 1,000,000 dollars.
In the case of Kim Youngchul who had the Athena’s bow, though it was a level 4 weapon…it ran for 2 million dollars. If you thought about an item’s price, purchasing it by saving up from dungeon raid earnings was almost impossible. It would take forever to go from one level to another without being from a rich family.
“But then again, there’s no reason to rush things. With your current skills, SunbehOppa, you could probably clear level 2 dungeons and profit with about 30,000 dollars in a month. In just one year, that would be about 400,000 dollars so buying level 3 equipment would only be a matter of 3 years. And 30,000 dollars in a month is honestly me being conservative. If you go on raids every three days, you could earn double that.
“You know that hunting in dungeons isn’t that simple.”
If you were injured or an irregular appeared, then that would complicate things. Especially recently.
“On top of that, I have a feeling we can’t stay complacent.”
“Who knows if and when the level 2 dungeons will disappear too.”
Nobody knew why the level 1 dungeons had disappeared. Sure, there were theories. But no hard facts. I felt like this was only the beginning of things.
I could almost say with certainty that it had something to do with the level 0 skillbooks. But I didn’t know for a fact if this was something only appearing for me or for a select few others too.
Either way, there was no guarantee that this was the end of it.
Now that things had come to this, there was nothing to do but keep climbing up.
As soon as we exited the dungeon, Eum Hyunjoon and everyone else was on standby waiting for us. I didn’t see helmet guy.
“What happened to that guy?”
“He received some treatment from the ward here, and I sent him home afterward. He didn’t have any big injuries other than to his neck. But it’s a relief that that was the extent of it.”
Hm. I thought I heard a weird sound.
“I’ll do the contribution split and send it to your account. I added in Jong Sawon’s share as well.”
“The helmet man’s name is Jong Sawon.”
“DId he say anything else?”
“Not really. He just seemed terribly stricken. But he didn’t say anything outside of that. Why? Did something happen?”
There was no point in telling him anything and make things weird. And if helmet guy had any conscience, he wouldn’t come to me for the hospital bill either.
Han Joonseok, Cho Youngoo, and manager Kim came this way.
“You killed it?”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m sure you wouldn’t just run in there not to try and kill the monster. My intuition is stellar.”
“Anyway. If you were that curious, you should have followed me in.”
“Well. About that. I had something I had to tend to. Like you asked, I had to take the party members safely outside. You know how much they want to always follow you. Especially that one…”
Glasses girl started tearing up after looking up at me.
What. This girl.
Han Joonseok said.
“Ms. Bae Yeongyoung was very worried. I kept telling her nothing bad was going to happen but she wouldn’t believe me.”
“It’s a relief that you came back safely…sniff.”
I don’t know how to comfort a crying girl. Would she feel better if I hug her head?”
“Thanks for worrying about me.”
“Next time please take me too.”
“And don’t just take unnie.”
[TN: Unnie is korean for older sister – used for older females by younger females]
After saying this, she bowed her head down. I could see that her face flushed a bright red color.
“You people! Am I invisible?!”
Jung Sooah yelled out annoyed.
“Ah. You came back too huh?”
“It’s great that you came back safely.”
“Clap clap clap. Congratulations.”
“Manager Kim. Youngoo ajushi. Are you guys really going to be like this? You should be a bit more like Joonseok oppa.”
[TN: Oppa is korean for older brother and Ajushi is korean for old man.]
“Why do you call him oppa and me ajushi?”
“Because Joonseok oppa’s good looking, that’s why.”
When Cho Youngoo ran toward Sooah, he was on the floor in seconds.
“I used to learn yudo.”
“Wasn’t it shotput?”
“I’m asking you with the utmost seriousness right now. Do you want to take this chance to use real equipment and be a hunter?”
“Will you be coaching me?”
“I don’t think you’d need me to..”
“If you’re going to train me every day then I’ll do it.”
“Well…I guess I could.”
I was being really serious. In cases where we would need her buffer skill, it would be tricky if she had no way of defending herself.
“I’ll do it too.”
Glasses girl said. I nodded my head. I didn’t mind putting in the work if it means raising up the ability of my team members.