ETH – Ch 40

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We decided to do our training at the usual park. Since it was the day after we had our normal after-hunt drinking, no one looked like they were in the best condition. But I didn’t care. Since this was our first day of training, I wanted to put 1000% into it.

“Do it right.”

“Do I really have to do this?”

“Well if you’re never going to fight then I guess not. You can just buy a level 1 armor and walk around with that on. With the right kind of armor, you can get hit a couple of times and still live – probably.”

I said casually towards Jung Sooah – who was chopping up and down repeatedly with her sword. She’s been doing this same motion for the last two hours. This was the basics. She needed to learn proper form. Whenever she made the slightest mistake in her form, I lightly hit her with the hilt of my sword at her arms or legs to have her correct it.

It shouldn’t have hurt her at all. It should’ve just made her feel kind of crappy. Like when someone slides their hand across your face slowly. It hurts much less than a slap…but it somehow makes you feel worse. But this was enough to have her correct her posture.

“This isn’t right…”

“…Oh well…”

“I mean. You know. If my posture is wrong like this, shouldn’t you help me into the right posture with your hands or something? Right? You know, go behind me, and you know. If you do it like that, isn’t it much better?”

Tap.

“Ow! Look at you hitting me again!”

“No gutter mind while training.”

I did say this but she was very quick at learning. Maybe it was because she was an athlete. But it was more important to fully engrain the basics once you’ve learned it. And she was really taking this tedious work like a champ.

She had the right mindset – for the most part.

Pluck!

Shwing!

“Ah. It veered off course again.”

On the opposite side, glasses girl was aiming her bow and arrow at a makeshift target I had put up for her. It was a practice arrow so it didn’t have a sharp end. Since it was a park, you couldn’t be too sure that she might accidentally hit an innocent person just strolling through.

Her skill was as crappy as ever. It wasn’t like my archery skills were the best, but if her skills were worse than mine – ones I acquired from just taking up archery as a hobby during my college years – that was really bad.

“You said you never took any formal lessons for archery right?”

“Yes.”

“Why did you decide to take up archery then?”

“I got this bow from my older brother.”

“Older brother?”

“Yes. He was a hunter, but he retired because of an injury. He just rests at home for the time being.”

“A retired hunter..seems like it must be a burden to you.”

“Yes. That’s why I’m so thankful to you.”

“How about your parents?”

“My father is also a retired hunter.”

“Hm..”

Was she saying that she’s the sole provider and support for her crumbling household?

Something sounded not right.

“If your father and your brother were once hunters, how come you never learned archery properly from them?”

“They were both put out of commission from being hunters due to injury, so I think they’re worried the same would happen to me. But because the only income is coming from me right now…”

It’s not as if I don’t completely understand her family’s worry. But just because they were worried didn’t mean they shouldn’t have given her lessons. In this type of situation, the best solution should have been to give her the tools necessary to reduce her risk of injury since she were going to be a hunter no matter what.

“It seems you have your own issues. I’m sorry about that. But that aside, it seems like you haven’t been able to focus for a while now.”

“Hm? That, that’s…”

“I don’t know what you’re thinking about but, at this level, you are almost no help to the team at all. It’s only because of Sooah’s buffer skill that you are able to hit your marks. Know that I can only help you so much. Now that we plan on going full force in climbing each level one by one, if you can’t keep up, I’ll have no choice but to drop you from the team.”

“Ok.”

Glasses girl nodded her head as she grasped her bow tight. Her heart was in the right place. No, I could see it in her eyes that she understood. But we’ll see if her will will reflect in her archery.

Pluck!

Whing!

As I continued standing by while the two resume their training, I looked through the How To Combo book again. Since I just browsed through it yesterday, I was planning on looking at it in more detail. I felt like I had overlooked something. But what bothered me the most was that almost half the book was blank.

Since only the first half the book had drawing and instructions in it, why was the rest of it blank.

This was a special item. There was no way that there wasn’t a reason behind it being blank.

Flip.

First, I looked over the blank pages again. I did look at it yesterday, but you never knew if it changed overnight. Maybe there was something I didn’t catch before…

Tap.

I found it.

On the corner of one blank page, there was a very small drawing. That small drawing was of a sword that was an almost exact replica of the bloody sword. But it wasn’t just that. Under the bloodysword were drawings of two daggers and three blisolites. The meaning of this drawing was obvious.

You can make a bloodysword by combining two daggers.

I pretty much knew the specs of all the items offered up on the hunter market. Level, price, performance, options…you could say I memorized it all. Put bluntly, I’m sure there’s no one else who had as much knowledge of all the items on the market as me. This was due to memorizing and learning about all the items on the market during my years as a porter – when my only dream was to someday become a hunter.

The two daggers pictured under the bloodysword were both level 1 weapons: one was a vampiric dagger and the other was a speed enhancing dagger. Each used to be valued at about 150,000. But they were probably selling for 60,000 dollars now.

“Whew…”

My heart was beating fast.

This book not only told you how to combine items to get you a random item, but it also showed you how to get a specific item.

This meant that I would know if investments made in the separate items will be worth the resulting item.

More specifically, if I just had 3 blisolites (which would cost me 120,000 dollars), then I would be able to produce a 400,000 dollar bloodysword. That was 280,000 profit.

Wait.

I hurriedly flipped to the next page. And I found it.

“Athena’s bow…”

Somewhere in the middle of the Combo book, was a small drawing of Athena’s bow. This was a bow that had the option of not hurting humans.

I need to remain calm.

What was needed to create Athena’s bow were the following: a level 3 Valladolid bow and a level 2 white crow pendant. They were, respectively, 800,000 dollars and 500,000 dollars. To be able to create a 2 million dollar items at the cost of 1.3 million dollars. That was 700,000 in profit.

Of course there would also be ores involved in this combo too. The required ore to create this level 4 weapon was elnite. This was something that sold for over 10,000 dollars each…and it was as rare as it was expensive. But as you go up in dungeon levels, the ores that drop also increase in levels. This type of ore would drop occasionally in level 3 dungeons.

Bloodysword and Athena’s bow.

There was one thing these two items had in common. They were both weapons that I had used at least once before. Of course the bloodysword is something I use almost everyday, but I had used the Athena’s bow only once before when I was trying to catch the attention of a monster.

This meant that every weapon I use will appear in this book. And it will show me what I can do to create it.

The only thing that was a disappointment was that I had never used a level 3 weapon.

“Sooah.”

“What?”

“Do you know of any level 3 hunters by any chance?”

“I do but none that I keep in touch with. They kept asking me out everyday, and I got sick of it.”

“…don’t lie.”

“You don’t know because I never put makeup on around you, but I’m quite a looker if I try.”

“Anyway. My fault for even asking.”

I needed to borrow a level 3 weapon. But there was no one who would let me borrow such an expensive weapon. If only I had a rich friend.

Rich friend?

Kim Youngchul’s face immediately come to the forefront of my mind. Since he was such a nice kid, he might actually listen to my request. But since I haven’t heard a peep from him since that day, he might have quit raids altogether.

And it was kind of bad manners to ask for such a big favor out of the blue.

Ok. Toss that out the window. If I just created a couple bloodyswords and sold them, I would have enough money to buy a level 3 weapon myself in no time. There’s no such thing as a free favor. I needed to stop trying to take unnecessary shortcuts.

My primary goal was to clear level 2 dungeons.

[0,15,3850]

I closed my eye to check my reward points.

My current abilities were: strength – 200, endurance – 150, reflex – 150, focus – 150, and defense – 100. If I used Jung Sooah’s buffer, that would increase all of them even more.

Her buffer skill would raise each ability by about 20%, and the option that she could only use once a day for 10 minutes would raise each ability by about 50%. With this, it was more than enough to clear a level 2 dungeon.

I thought about how I should use the remaining reward points and decided on increasing my stamina and defense.

The reason why I had decided on the two was because I was lacking in these two areas the most during my fight with the level 4 monster. If i were just running, then I could keep it up for 2 hours. But 10 minutes into a full on fight…that was enough to wear me out. This was because fighting a monster much bigger than me required me to run around, dodge, and jump a lot. And then getting hit that one time was enough to almost take me out of the fight. Luckily the fight was done by that time. But this meant I needed to have better defense.

[0,17,350]

Raising my stamina from 150 to 200 cost me 2,000 points, and raising my defense from 100 to 150 cost me 1,500 points. So in total, I spent 3,500 points to raise those two abilities.

“Huff. Huff.”

I collapsed onto the ground and tried to catch my breath. I spent 1 hour being Jung Sooah’s personal sandbag and the next 2 hours running around the park. But I didn’t mind. Improving myself like this didn’t cost me a dime.

“Mr. Jeon Sangmin?”

A voice interrupted my thoughts. It was a familiar voice. Who was it?

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