Sooah pointed to her red forehead and yelled out.
“You know that this hurts like crazy?”
“Well now we’re even.”
I lifted my shirt to point at the bruise that was already appearing on my side.
Wait. Why is she taking out her phone?
“What are you doing…?”
“Taking picture of a rare sight.”
“If you don’t erase it right now, I’m going to smash your phone.”
“But it’s a 3,000 dollar phone.”
Expensive. What kind of phone is 3,000 dollars.
Bae Yeonkyoung spoke.
“You guys are really cute together.”
“Huh? This is cute?”
Sooah moaned while pointed to her swollen forehead.
“But the only person partyhead jokes around with is unnie. He’s very polite to everyone else.”
“Hm? Is that right? So I was special this whole time?”
Sooah whispered with wide eyes before turning to face me.
She looked like she was expecting something.
“I do it because she’s easy to make fun of.”
“He’s probably only saying that because he’s shy.”
“So that was it….see, I didn’t know this so I was getting a bit down.”
Oh my. Looks like there’s some kind of huge misunderstanding here. But since she seemed to calm down a bit, I just kept quiet.
Honestly, I did flick her a bit too hard.
“9.7 million dollars.”
“Nine million seven hundred thousand dollars.”
“No. I wasn’t asking you to say it more slowly. Nevermind.”
You’re being too polite now. Isn’t this an almost complete 360 from how you were acting just a second ago?
It’s not as if there’s any incentive for you if I sell you a lot of my items.
But it was the sad and honest truth that the weak naturally bow down to the strong.
Sooah clamped her hand on mine and said.
“Sunbeh oppa. Do you want to…”
“Haaa. You rejected me before I could even propose!”
Yeonkyoung started to laugh out loud. This was the first time I’d ever heard her laugh like that.
Back at the hostel, we waited for everyone to return.
In the end, we had decided to give each person on the team 1 million dollars while I reserved 2.7 million for myself.
It took quite a bit of time to decide on the split.
I had wanted to give my party members more of the split, but they refused and forced me to take more.
It wasn’t because I was selfless I just had different goals for everyone.
My goal was for everyone to get even stronger and raise the power of the team, but they were hoping that I would take the money and not have any thoughts of leaving the team.
Ultimately, we decided that this split was the perfect ratio fair for all sides.
The only person who took less was Park Hanbum, who owed the remaining 200,000 for the Grassland Horn Bow he received 800,000 instead.
Park Hanbum said as he checked his account. Since he had hunted solo until now, this must have been his first time earning as much as this.
“How much were you earning before?”
“Well there isn’t even much of a before. Because I wasn’t able to hunt for more than a few days since I came to the Yellow Sea. I did pick up one item, but it was only a level 1 so it’s embarrassing to compare the price to this.”
That still meant he had earned 100,000 on his own which isn’t a laughing matter.
But that was only because he hadn’t been injured.
Of course it’s not as if we never sustain any injuries during hunts.
Luckily we had the healing potions on hand to treat them immediately.
We had about 8 bottles left.
“What are you doing?”
Sooah stared at her smartphone with a look of distress. I thought she would be overjoyed with the money, but did she have a problem?
“I don’t know if I should put this money into the bank and earn interest off it or invest it into stocks.”
“If it’s something like that, there’s no reason for you to stress out.”
“What should I do??”
“We’re hunters. Since you’re a hunter, you need to spend like a hunter.”
I said happily.
This wasn’t something I was just saying to Sooah I was saying this to the benefit of everyone else.
“I will leave equipment purchases up to you guys. But I am hoping you will not let your money just sit somewhere.”
You can only earn 1-2% interest at the bank while stocks are unreliable.
But even if you purchased an item right now, used or new, you could always sell it again.
So the smartest thing to do would be to purchase equipment to allow you to be a better hunter. Then, instead of a measly 1-2%, you could earn several hundred times more return on your investment.
“What do we do when the price of the items drop later?”
Manager Kim asked.
“We checked at the market, and it seemed there wasn’t much of a value drop in items. I thought the surge in items would surely hurt their value, but because dungeons had disappeared all over the world, there wasn’t much of a change in the overall number of items there are just more concentrations of them in the new lands.”
“Well, I was just asking because I was curious. I was going to use this money on new equipment anyway.”
“This is not something I am forcing anyone to do.”
“If you try and persuade us and then tell us you’re not forcing us to do it…”
I laughed sheepishly. It’s too bad if they thought I was forcing them. Because life was more important than money. Better equipment could mean the difference between life and death.
Since I can’t always save everyone, they needed to hone their craft and upgrade their equipment so that they could take care of themselves when it mattered.
I looked at Cho Youngoo and said.
“Oh yeah, so what happened with the car?”
“There was a garage. They said they would have it fixed up by tomorrow.”
“Oh. Faster than I expected.”
“They said that they expected this exponential growth so they had hired more staff.”
While everyone went shopping for equipment, I remained behind at the hostel.
“Aren’t you going to buy anything Sunbeh Oppa?”
“I’m still thinking about it. Aren’t you going?”
“I’m looking up items right now.”
She raised her phone and showed me. It was the market items listing.
Though expensive, I couldn’t deny that it was useful. I thought to myself that maybe I should make a purchase as well.
The market here already has a smartphone store, so I could buy it whenever I wanted.
Anyway, what to buy next.
I had a total of 3.5 million dollars in my account. I could afford a Level 5 item with this much.
With several thousands of items stored in memory, I started to think back on all of them.
Thinking of all the items that I couldn’t have even dreamed of purchasing a few months ago, I slowly began to smile without even realizing it.
What to buy? What to buy?
3 million dollar Impact Hammer? 3.5 million dollar Oil-based Armor? Oh should I save a bit more and buy the 4 million dollar Golden Warrior Armor?
Sooah turned on the TV.
After scrolling through a bunch of channels, she stopped at a news program. They were covering a story related to the Yellow Sea.
A reporter, with Manripo in the background, started to speak.
-[A new city has been established at the Yellow Sea, where hunters are coming here in droves. Compared to the number of people from just last week, the count seems to have almost doubled. And new buildings are popping up every minute of the day.]
Then there was a scene of trucks lined up to enter the city.
The news that the monsters didn’t regenerate had spread.
After confirming that there were indeed only low level monsters, everyone headed for the new land.
-[But there is also a dark shadow looming over the West Sea. It is said that there are over 200 hunters that have already passed here in the new land.]
200….less than I expected.
Among them, only some probably died while fighting against monsters.
Most monsters, who ate humans for food, would probably leave no evidence of their meal.
But if it was a human who had killed their fellow man, it’s not as if they would bury the dead bodies.
-[The mortality rate is based on the number of hunters whose families could not reach them in over a week. But if we were to include the count of hunters who have been missing for even just 3-4 days, the number would increase to over a thousand. Even in dire times such as this, the police have been pushing off investigation saying the blame is most likely on the monsters.]
Then the scene switched off.
Sooah said with surprise.
It was Lieutenant Sohn Aram. There was only one reason for someone unrelated to this issue to be speaking.
The police needed a scapegoat. So why not give the public someone beautiful.
-[Currently there is not enough evidence to warrant a formal investigation. Just keeping the peace in the West Sea is taking up considerable police resources. Additionally, this new land is as big as our entire Country. Asking us to investigate every incident in such a wide area is improbable and impractical.]
After that, the reporter ended the broadcast with a few comments on the ignorance and inaction of the police.
That was definitely unfair. Even from what I could see, this wasn’t something that the police could do anything about. They just wanted to crucify someone and call it a news piece.
“That’s too much. They definitely don’t have enough police here to launch a full investigation and keep the piece like Ms. Sohn said. And it’s not as if they could transplant the entire Country’s force here to do so.”
Yeonkyoung, who had been peeling an orange on the floor, answered. Hm. So this one didn’t go to the market either huh?
The three of us went back to the market and each purchased an item of our liking.
The more expensive an item was, the better it was. It was better to buy one expensive item, than to buy several modestly priced items that was the general rule of thumb.
After pondering for a bit, I chose the most expensive item.
Toyul Hammer (5): The power of lightning is asleep. You can hit the ground with the hammer to strike at your opponent. Damage and range is dependant on the wielder’s strength.
A level 5 weapon, the Toyul Hammer.
At 4.5 million dollars, I sold the Honcheon sword to make up for the difference.
Since I could only wield one weapon in each hand, there was no reason for me to hold onto a level 3 sword any longer.
I was a bit sad to part with something that had come such a long way with me.
I considered maybe keeping it to use for a fusion in the future, but since I didn’t see it in the Fusion book for something worth making, I closed my eyes and sold it.
I was most pleased with my purchase, however. Since it adapted to the wielder’s power just as the Honcheon sword did, it was just perfect for me.
“Wow….that looks incredibly barbaric.”
Sooah, who was pretty barbaric herself, calling the hammer barbaric was a testament to how big and cumbersome looking my new weapon was.
From its outward appearance, it looked more like a sledgehammer than a warhammer. Instead of a battle weapon, it looked more like a tool used to demolish buildings.
This hammer weighed over 50 kilograms. It was not a weapon that anyone would be able to wield, let alone pick up easily.
I picked it up and started to swing with it back and forth in one hand.
A small electrical spark leapt out.
It seems that the electrical damage was proportionate to the amount of force used to strike the poor guy hit by this barbaric weapon.
It was a heavy thing. I had been able to wield the Honcheon sword, which was heavy in its own right, as if I were swinging around a feather. It would be difficult to do the same with this item.
I guess that would be the trade off harder to wield, but able to deal more damage at a time.
Yeonkyoung, taking my advice, purchased a Level 3 Valladolid Horn Bow.
It was a 1.1 million dollar weapon that didn’t require any arrows to use.
Since it didn’t have to be reloaded each time, this was the best suited weapon for our archer whose specialty was in rapid firing.
She paid for the difference in the cost of the weapon by selling her old bow.
It was Sooah’s purchase that took me by surprise.
“Are you seriously going to buy this?”
“Yeh. Why not? Isn’t it a good weapon?”
“Well….I’m not saying it’s bad.”
She had chosen a Level 3 Arachne leather armor. An armor that wrapped around the entire body, while it served its purchase in protecting the wearer, it was also a bit risque.
I’m not saying she was exposed anywhere. But the leather was designed to hug every curve.
Whether or not she had a nice figure, I would feel embarrassed to look at her were she to put it on.
But other than that one small issue, the armor had a number of very nice options.
First, it had great ventilation. Even if she were to wear just the armor all day for a month, she would remain both comfortable and odor free. You could basically think of the armor as a second skin.
Since the armor was also very elastic, it didn’t give too much trouble when putting it on and taking it off.
But the best part of the armor was that you could shoot webs from it.
I think I remember an American comicbook hero being able to do something similar.
There were two main purposes for these cobwebs.
- Rendering your opponent immobile or limiting mobility
- Protecting your ally from other attacks.
“Did you buy that so you can wear it for Manager Kim?”
“Yep. I’m sick of hearing him muttering in the back while we fight so I’m buying it to maybe shut him up.”
“Hm….I don’t know if that would shut him up.”
“What does it matter. Then I can just shoot some webs at him. There.”
She made a small evil smile. I guess it wouldn’t really matter if she cocooned him in some cobwebs since he didn’t do anything else the rest of the battle.
It would also help her since she could spend less of her energy protecting an extra body.
“So is everyone done shopping?”
Han Joonseok, who was walking toward us, said loudly. Since the only market in the new land was this one, it was no surprise that we would run into him.
“Yeh, pretty much. How about you?”
He raised up his new quiver. The item stats appeared via my manual.
Though it was an item I was already familiar with, it was different seeing it in person.
Explosion quiver (3): Gives the arrows stored in the quiver the ability to explode on impact.
It was a clever choice. The only real weapon Han Joonseok had was the level 2 stalker.
In order to close the widening gap between the other members, instead of choosing another weapon, he chose a new quiver that would boost the attack power of his current weapon.
Everyone else had also chosen and purchased level 3 items as well.
In order to raise his defense, Cho Youngoo purchased a level 4 no name plated armor.
It didn’t have any special options, but it would serve its main purpose just fine.
Jong Sawon brought an Ingot sword and the Level 1 agility sword.
These were the item ingredients to fuse and create a Rubicon sword. We had 10 ansilites left. This meant we had enough to create a level 3 item.
“Would this suffice for a fusion?”
“Yes, not a problem.”
It seemed he wanted to use two swords like I did.
Imagining him killing monsters left and right with a rubicon sword in both hands made me feel a bit sorry for the little guys.
“But do you think you’ll have enough strength to fight with both swords?”
The Rubicon sword is supposed to be wielded in both hands. Although it wasn’t a rule but, unlike the bastard or longsword, if you don’t attack with enough force you lose the full benefit of the weapon.
“That’s why I bought another item.”
Jong Sawon shrugged his shoulder as he raised his glove.
I thought it was familiar, until I recognized that it was the level 3 Power Glove. Wearing both as a set increases the wearer’s power by 50%.
With that on, it would be no problem for him to wield both swords.
Park Hanbum had purchased a level 3 Basilisk leather armor. This armor was to protect against sword attacks.
It was something unnecessary for fighting monsters. But we had already run into trouble with hunters that time before, and we were sure to run into trouble with them again.
Finally, Manager Kim had ended up purchasing the most interesting item. It was a level 4 flashing ring. The ring had a 30 second cool time and gave the wearer the ability to move instantly to another location in a 10 meter radius. This was an item that was difficult to use when trying to be stealthy or hidden because of the bright flashing light that shines out on use. But it was perfect to escape a dangerous situation.
Me: Toyul Hammer (5, Range attack), Smash sword (4, 100% damage), Bloodysword (2, Blood absorption), Plated armor (3), Longsword (1)
Jung sooah: Bastard sword (3), Agility sword (1, increase reflex by 15%), Chongmal Garter Belt (1, increase strength by 30%), Backpack (1, decreases weight of items by 30%), Redemption Necklace (3, copycat ally’s item), Archne Leather Armor (3, cobwebs)
Bae Yeonkyoung: Valladolid Horn Bow (3, attack even without arrows), Leather armor (2)
Cho Youngoo: Rubicon Sword (3), No name steel shield (3), Plated armor (4), Strider’s Red Boots (1, Increase speed by 30%)
Han Joonseok: Stalker (2, perfect aim), leather armor (2), Optical Ruby Ring (1, enhances vision and enables night vision), Explosive quiver (3, give explosive attack power to arrows)
Jong Sawon: Rubicon sword (3), Agility leather armor (2, Increases reflexes by 30%), Power Glove (3, Increases strength by 50%)
Kim SoonKeun (Manager Kim): Professional Cane (3, Increases level by 1), Amplification Cane (2, Increases chances of spells working by 30%), Floodplain Cane (2, Can adjust range of attack), Robe (2, temperature control), Selfish glove (1, increase drop probability by 10%)
Park Hanbum: Grassland Horn Bow (3, Moving Shot), Basilisk leather armor (3), Leather Boots (2), Mockingbird Feather (2, Stealth)