ETH – Ch 71

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“And I will be keeping the blunt sword.”

I thought that someone might say something against it but no one said a peep.

It was the first level 0 weapon we’ve come across and it had the potential for growth as all level 0 items seemed to have. It didn’t seem at all special right now but I’m sure it could become something great later on with the right coaxing.

And I made the final executive decision to give the red speed-enhancing shoes to Jong Sawon. Since his fighting style required speed, I thought it was a perfect match.

***

“You came again?”

The market employee said with apparent surprise etched on his face. It was the very same employee that we had poured out all of our items in front of just two days earlier. There was no way he would have forgotten about us.

“This and that happened and here we are.”

“So what brings you here today?”

“We are here to sell some more items.”

“Ohso you didn’t like the items you had purchased last time it seems? Certainly the Toyul Hammer is not for the faint of heart.”

I could see a faint smirk dancing at the edges of the employee’s mouth. His eyes were mocking me as if to ask why I would buy something I didn’t know anything about like an amateur.

Am I being paranoid? No. It was written all over that man’s face.

“No, that’s not it. We have some new items to sell.”

“I’m sorry? Didn’t you sell me everything you had just two days ago?”

“That is true but…”

“Certainly you didn’t come back to sell the same amount as before in such a short time?”

“Of course not.”

“Of course. There’s just no way. Then let us go inside”

After following the employee inside, we continued on into the small room to do the exchange.

“Can you show me the items?”

I lightly laughed before flicking my hand in the air. All of the items in my storage started spilling out at once.

Boom! Clank! Slam! Clank clank clank.

The employee who had been waiting patiently without any anticipation started to lose all the color in his face second after second.

10, 20, 30, when the items showed no sign of stopping, he opened his mouth and spoke with a pained expression to ask.

“Just, just how many on earth did you bring?”

“A little over 100.”

There should have been 113 items left over but I used some of the items in combination with the blisolnites and ansilites on hand to fuse them.

The number of items decreased a bit, but our overall profit should have increased.

“.sweet baby Jesus.”

Even as he whispered his words of surprise, the items continued spilling out of the air.

It took a bit for him to calculate everything.

But the total profit for us came out to 31,100,000.

I got dizzy for a moment. I kept looking and doing double takes but the numbers he had written out for me remained the same.

“You are probably the only person who has earned this much money from our store.”

“Is that so? I would have expected pro teams to earn quite a bit of money too?”

“Well pro teams are directly connected to the head office. They even have a separate team dedicated to tending to them.”

“Ohthat’s the first I hear of that.”

When we had hunted in the dungeons, there was no reason for us to go out to the hunter market and sell our items. This was because we usually just turned them over to the dungeon operators and they paid us out right then and there.

But this was a special circumstance with the advent of the new land. Also because of the threat of the Chinese hunters crossing the halfway line of the new land, there was no way pro hunters would travel to and fro from their station just to sell their items. For that reason, it seems they were assigned a separate team to pick up and drop off their items to the market for them.

It seems that the five pro teams I had mentioned earlier earned enough items for the hunter market to go out of their way in such a manner. I wouldn’t be surprised if the largest team, Team Galaxy, earned several 100 millions at a time.

Thinking of the higher drop rates and easier hunting on the new land, I wouldn’t be surprised if they make even more than that.

The employee asked.

“In any case, do you not have any ores? I’m sure you aren’t throwing them all away.”

“Ah, another member of the team is taking care of that. I don’t sell them myself.”

Ores, which are usually sold to the dungeon operators, are also being sold to the hunter market stores in the new land. The law usually mandates that ores are only sold to the government, but the new land created this need to sell to the markets.

Curious, I asked.

“Is there any way for us to procure or buy ores here?”

“Hm, I’m not sure. We do purchase ores at our store but everything we purchase is managed by the police. We do not have the authority to sell ores in our possession. But where do you want to use them, if I may ask? I don’t think I’ve ever heard that anybody could use it in any way in its natural form.”

“No, I was just wondering. You could say it’s a bit of a hobby of mineyou knowmaking this and that out of things.”

Making the ores usable in any way required a dissolving and leaching process with strong acids something that required a factory to do.

My excuse sounded lame even to my own ears. Good job Sangmin. Good job.

***

I gave each team member 3 million dollars and kept 10 million to myself.

Now that we had earned a crapload of money, until we received any new piece of information regarding the forest, we were going to take a well deserved break.

Manager Kim, Park Hanbum, and Bae Yeonkyoung returned home. I gave everyone 3 days off.

Since we all agreed that we would all meet up immediately if I contacted them before the three days were up, there was no issue with giving them that time off.

Ever since the monster wave and the new land, new roads had been paved everywhere.

Unless you were somewhere extremely far or remote, getting to the new city was usually only a few hours’ drive away.

Han Joonseok, Jong Sawon, and Cho Youngoo headed to the shopping center in the West Sea Ccity.

Since all three of them had an interest in cars, it seemed they bonded in that way.

I could see that. Jong Sawon was a bike fanatic seeing as how he went so far as to always wear a full face bike helmet everywhere.

I found out that he had only sold his bike so that he could purchase his equipment. I guessed that he was probably keen on buying another bike with his new earnings.

That was not a bad idea. If we were to go back into the forest, I’m sure there would be parts our truck would not be able to pass through. Then a bike would come in handy indeed.

The truck was big enough to hold a few bikes so space wasn’t an issue either.

In the case space did become an issue, we could just go and buy another truck.

I mean. We did earn a lot of money this time around.

If it were like old times, I wouldn’t have even thought of spending money in this way.

Left to myself at the hostel, I took out the blunt sword and held it out.

This was the new level 0 weapon I had come upon.

Just as its name implied, it was extremelyhow do you say itordinary.

In fact, since the blade was almost as thick as a finger, it was closer to an iron rod than a sword.

If you were to try and fight a monster with this thing, instead of slicing it or stabbing ityou would probably need to kill it by hitting it to death.

But I’m sure it would change in some way after an upgrade so I wasn’t quick to judge.

The level 0 items I came across before this were two skillbooks: effort and friendship. And both of them came with amazingalmost cheatlike features.

I sat on the sofa and turned on the tv when Sooah spoke up.

“Are you trying to upgrade it? But we don’t even have any ores left.”

The first upgrade required 50 ores. Compared to what the manual needed, it was definitely on the cheaper side.

I had invested 726 ores so far into my manual for its next upgrade. I took 50 from that and invested it towards the sword.

-You have fulfilled the upgrade requirements for the blunt sword. Would you like to proceed?

A green message popped up on my glasses lens.

“Proceed.”

As soon as I spoke the command, the sword I had placed on the table began to vibrate.

Woong~

The low frequency sound kept ringing out.

The sword defied all law of physics and began to float in mid air.

“Oh, insane.”

Sooah said as she watched the sword. She looked like she was on the verge of clapping.

I just stood by and watched the sword carefully. I noticed ever slight changes happening before my eyes. In some parts it almost looked like fine powder moving around, and then it would looks like small bits of light moving around. Strange.

-Upgrade completion: 81%.

It was all happening fairly quickly. Not even 1 minute had passed since the process began and it was almost already 80% complete. And then the upgrade was done.

It didn’t really look any different. It was still as blunt as it had been before the upgrade.

If I had to point something out, I’d have to say it was the red gem that was now on the hilt of the sword.

-Upgrade complete. The ‘Blunt Sword’ has been upgraded to the “Blunt Dancing Sword’.

A green message appeared again above my glasses.

Blunt Dancing Sword (0): Stands by in the vicinity of the user to attack and defend against attacks from surrounding enemies. Depending on the setting, a variety of different attack methods may be used.

The name is too long. (TN: not in english but in korean it is pretty long). I’ll call it the Dancing Sword from now on instead.

“It doesn’t look like it changed at all really…”

Sooah said as she inspected the sword.

“Hold it up for a minute.”

“Is it ok for me to hold it first?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“Then I’ll….ahhh?”

Swish!

As soon as she tried to pick up the sword, the Dancing Sword wooshed and dodged her hand on its own.

Surprised by the sword that was floating in midair, she tried to grab hold of it once more but the sword evaded her again.

“This damn sword…”

Clearly annoyed now, Sooah bolted up from her seat to chase after the animated weapon. The sword was able to take basic commands and the setting I had initiated was ‘avoid’.

Sooah continued to race after the dancing sword like an angry bull but it dodged and evaded her as if it were child’s play.

“Huff huff.”

“It’s pretty fast. It looks almost fast enough for me to be unable to catch it too.”

“If I only had my necklace on, I’m sure I would have caught it.”

She was not wearing her Redemption Necklace. Because there was no reason for her to have on any of her hunter gear while in the hostel.

“Why don’t you stop for now so we can see what else this thinghuh…? Waiwait.”

“I got it!”

In the brief moment I wasn’t paying attention, she had thrown herself at the sword. For all her confidence, the sword was still able to slip out of reach at the last moment. Having lunged into the air with abandon, she was about to crash right onto me.

Crash!

“Kyaaa…!”

But right before she did, I shifted a bit to dodge that bit of disaster. Sooah, not so lucky, tumbled across the floor until she slammed to a stop against the wall. The a cacophony of noise rang out all throughout the hostel.

“Hey! Are you trying to bring the building down!”

“.Couldn’t you just catch me that one time?”

Sooah whimpered with tears welling up in her eyes.

“I was going to catch you but.”

“But what?”

“Lunging at me with such bloodlust in your eyes anyone would have dodged you.”

“Pft. Anyway. I’ll be going into my room now.”

I chuckled a bit as I watched her walk away while muttering some things under her breath before I turned to grab the sword. Using it was fairly simple. If I just give it a simple command, it would follow that command.

While I only used a preprogrammed command as a test, the manual explained that the dancing sword would also be able to understand other commands in a sentence structure as well.

Additionally, the sword would be able to attack in infinite patterns with the freedom to move in the air.

I kept testing the sword out from here and there in the room, but I was unable to unlock the full potential just in this way.

I needed to perform a stress test that would be similar to a real battle.

And Sooah was the perfect candidate to help me out in that respect. That girl, she’s never available when she’s needed.

Anyway, what in the world is she up to that she’s so quiet?

Is she sleeping?

“What are you doing? I’m coming in.”

Creak.

I opened the door to her room.

***

I sat on the sofa and turned on the television. The male anchor on the screen was loudly going on about something or another.

But none of that was registering.

The only thing running through my head was the image of Sooah, clad in her underwear, putting on her equipment.

And that equipment, of all things, was the Chongmal garter belt.

Her underwear, matching her garter belt, was also all black. Physical fitness, a requirement for all porters, was evident in her firm and well formed thighs.

And her tight round buttcheeks….

“Haa….”

I let out a sigh without even realizing it.

It was the first time I had seen her in those garter belts. There was no reason for me to have ever seen them since she always wears them inside her armor.

And I think it might be better if I don’t see them again.

If anything, it would be better for me to not see it again just so that I can be objective and not change my view of her.

Creak.

“Did you see?”

Sooah asked with just her head poking out of the doorway.

“No. Not anything.”

“Liar.”

“Fine, I saw. What do you want. It was an accident.”

“If you saw, you need to take responsibility. Are you going to just wash your hands of this even after you’ve seen a grown lady in her underwear?”

“Hey, is this the medieval times? The 22nd century is right around the corner. Making a big deal out of me seeing a wee bit of skin. You didn’t even have much to look at.”

“Really? Then I guess it’ll be ok for me to show you a bit more then.”

What the hell is with this girl. Surely she doesn’t mean to come out like that.

No. No no. I can see the corners of her lips slanting up.

Can she see me sweating?

“If you do anything weird, I’m going to get really mad.”

“What if I do..”

“I’m never going to talk to you again.”

“Hmph, I already mentally prepared myself for that.”

She stepped out out of the doorway. I turned my head around and quickly closed my eyes.

“What are you doing?”

“I am putting in my best efforts to preserve our relationship the way it is.”

“Haa, it’s fine. Just look.”

“What? If it’s something weird I’ll really get mad.”

With a little bit of expectation mixed in with a little bit of dread, I opened my eyes.

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