<Chapter 5. Trickster’s Karma – 4>
Lee Shin Woo supposed that the saying was true; misfortune and fortune come hand in hand.
[Beginner Acid Resistance has become Lv4. Resistance increases.]
His newly acquired skill, Acid Resistance, was truly amazing. Even though it was just at the Beginner stage, it blocked half the damage from the slimes’ Acid Poison. Moreover, in the process, the skill proficiency increases as well!
But because half of the damage is blocked, there was a noticeable drop in the growth rate of his Regeneration skill proficiency. He had hoped that he’d be able to get the now level 9 Beginner Regeneration skill to the low rank level!
[The slimes sprayed their weak Acid Poison, but Acid Resistance reduces the damage.]
“Hoo… it can’t be helped. I have no choice but to use the rest of my mana.”
Lee Shin Woo, who was fine even after being covered by the slimes, checked his body and conclude that he’d be fine for about 10 minutes without using his Regeneration skill. Then, he thought about what he would do with his remaining mana. Since he had realized how important skills were, he had already made up his mind to train his skills as much as possible.
‘The Shriek of the Dead is… No, if these guys fight amongst themselves, I won’t be able to train my Regeneration and Acid Resistance. The Power Slash… isn’t possible since I’d need a weapon.’
He realised all that was left was either Catapult, or Flames of Revenge, and thought about which one he should train; he soon made up his mind to train Flames of Revenge.
The reason was extremely simple. Catapult just launched a bone at an enemy, but conversely, if he trained Flames of Revenge, it would be usable in various areas.
‘I can shoot it from a far distance and I can put it on my weapon. It also has a pursuit function, and does persistent damage… In other words, just by training this, my overall power will increase.’
But this skill’s output wasn’t satisfactory for the amount of mana used, so he hadn’t had an opportunity to actively use it. The fact that it was only a beginner level 3 skill was proof of that.
The Treasure Eater had created such an enormous flame though… Perhaps it could be due to the disparity between their magic, or it could be because something changed as it was modified from Flames of Resentment to Flames of Revenge.
‘In any case, the higher the level, the more effective it should be. Let’s train the skill to at least see if that’s true.’
Since he had acquired the Acid Resistance skill, the burden to his mana had reduced significantly; right now, it was absolutely possible for him to simultaneously train his Flames of Revenge. Even though it was against his will, damn it!
He definitely wanted to raise his Resistance skill to the low rank level, but… Lee Shin Woo made an expression as though he was going to cry (though of course, there wasn’t any change whatsoever on the outside), and created flames.
The slimes that violently attached themselves to him seemed to also be intimidated by the mass of black flames floating in the air, and were melted by the flames; their bodies shrunk gradually and soon, emitted a sound of gas leaking and were completely destroyed. Since they had died so quickly, he hadn’t used much mana.
[You have acquired 12 Perium.]
[You have acquired 12 Perium.]
[You have acquired 12 Perium.]
[You have acquired a Slime’s Core.]
However, there was an even more surprising reward. He had killed hundreds of slimes thus far, and it might’ve even reached the thousands, yet a reward he hadn’t seen before had suddenly popped out!
“What is this…”
All he was sure about was that it wasn’t a common item! Lee Shin Woo collected the Slime’s Core that emitted a dark light before the other slimes could eat it. At that moment, something happened.
[Through Bone Reinforcement, the monster’s essence is being changed.]
[The Slime’s Core has become the Slime Bone Core.]
He was even more surprised than when he had first picked up the Slime’s Core. He thought that Bone Reinforcement was only applicable to equipment, yet to think it worked on other items as well! No matter how he thought about it, the Slime’s Core didn’t seem similar to equipment.
If that’s the case, then how…? Lee Shin Woo stood still, and even if the slimes swarmed him, he didn’t concern himself with them and checked the item’s information.
[Slime Bone Core]
[A Slime is sensitive to fire. Although normal slimes just spread their mana across their bodies, if you encounter them and their bodies melt, their mana gathers in their body. If you hunt the Slimes in this situation, you will occasionally receive a core filled with their condensed mana.]
[It can be processed into equipment that contains the monster’s power, or it can be processed into a medicine that permanently increases your physical abilities. By changing the cores into bone, those special characteristics and rarity are decidedly higher than normal cores.]
It was nothing but dumb luck, but he felt really good. He felt like he couldn’t receive anything from the slimes besides deteriorated bones and Perium, but to think there was this kind of twist waiting for him!
He could roughly guess why the core had changed into bone when he read the item explanation. Didn’t it say a monster’s core could be used as a material for equipment or potions? Just like how normal equipment is changed into bone, the cores that could be used as materials for equipment and potions are also naturally affected by Bone Reinforcement.
‘It’s turned out well. I won’t be able to intake a skeleton’s core with a normal method anyway.’
He didn’t hide his excitement and used the Slime Bone Core as the target of Bone Reinforcement. Then, the message appeared.
[The Slime Bone Core works on the entire body. Would you like to proceed with Bone Reinforcement?]
[Reinforcing the entire body. Magic has increased by 1. Acquiring a portion of the Slime’s memories and experiences.]
[Gureureuk! Reureureureureu! – Slime]
He probably wouldn’t raise his magic by 1 every time he took in a core, so he had to see it as being lucky this time. Still, just the fact that he could intake cores in order to acquire magic was great. Since he had trained his skills, his magic had increased by a lot, but compared to his other stats, it was still lower.
However, if he did well in this dungeon, it’s possible that his magic could become higher than his other stats!
It was important starting now. Of course, it’d be great if he were able to burn all the slimes inhabiting the sewers and acquire their cores, but unfortunately, his mana was finite, and he needed mana to use his Regeneration skill to safeguard his body from their Acid Poison.
So from now on, he would measure out enough of his remaining mana for his Regeneration and Acid Resistance skills, and would appropriately use his Flames of Revenge when he could; he would simultaneously train the Flames of Revenge and acquire as many slime cores as possible.
“Yeah, yeah, let’s play a lot, Pudding.”
How satisfied could he have been with the Slime’s Cores for him to have given the slimes a nickname!? Lee Shin Woo took a deep breath and used his remaining mana, excluding an amount reserved for his Regeneration skill… and used his Flames of Revenge again.
“You like playing with fire, don’t you, Pudding?”
A countless number of Puddings… of slimes quivered intensely and were greeted by fire. Lee Shin Woo saw that and laughed pleasingly as they burned. Just like a demon.
“Yeah, yeah, eat a lot.”
They probably didn’t understand what he was saying, and the slimes still trembled even more intensely. Lee Shin Woo laughed with a ‘ha-ha’ and threw his fist, popping the slimes in the center that couldn’t bear the flames with their own mana.
[You have hunted a Lv1 Sewer Slime.]
[You have hunted a Lv1 Sewer…]
It probably wouldn’t be perfect, but after repeatedly going through trial and error, and fine tuning his stamina and magic, he was confident that he could completely turn this into a training environment.
And it was truthfully proceeding like that. Was it because he started properly? Or maybe because his mana senses were particularly sharp.
[Low Rank Magic Affinity has become Lv2. Magic increases by 2.]
His Magic Affinity skill, which had been reborn into a low rank skill, had finally risen to level 2 since entering this dungeon. His mana Regeneration was now faster, his Flames of Revenge naturally became more effective, he could use it more, and as a result, the proficiency rose.
Moreover, he was proceeding at a slower pace than before, but his Regeneration still rose. Whenever his Acid Resistance blocked the slime’s Acid Poison and whenever he absorbed the deteriorated bones that popped out, he quickly grew. This dungeon was truly an immeasurably valuable treasure house for him.
‘If I find a senior that I like, I should teach them about this place. That they definitely have to enter a Sewers Dungeon if there’s one nearby…’
As he committed to his horrific plan, which would push someone he liked into hell and was something a human being wouldn’t be able to think of, he gradually crawled further into the dungeon.
The Sewers was so vast that it covered this small town, and was wider and deeper than any dungeon he had learned about; obviously, there were heaps of slimes, piled up like mountains.
It was when five days had passed. He suddenly thought he felt the flow of mana; it’d been a long time since he saw a lengthy message in front of him.
[You returned to your wild instincts and have achieved astonishing hunting results. Strength, Agility, and Health have increased by 2. You have acquired the Barbarian’s token. Proficiency in Low Rank Bursting Thunder and Beginner Flames of Revenge increases.]
[Beginner Flames of Revenge has become Lv7.]
Lee Shin Woo, who was cleaving through the slimes with motions his body was now familiar with, and using his remaining mana to create flames, repeatedly burning the slimes (unfortunately, even though he burned the slimes, their core drop rate was low), was flustered at the sudden message.
‘Barbarian’s token? What barbarian?’
He had completely given up on going through this dungeon with a concept this time, yet he had suddenly achieved a feat and even received a token! He smashed the remaining slimes in the passageway and immediately took out the new token from his inventory.
[A karma that suits those who fight only with their bare body, without relying on weapons, armor or refined techniques. There is occasionally one amongst them that can harness the power of nature, and if this strength is used to its extreme, they will go beyond a Barbarian and awaken a Druid’s abilities.]
After entering the dungeon, he killed the slimes using only his bare body, without swinging a weapon, and even used fire; is that why he got this token?
When he thought about it like that, Lee Shin Woo honestly couldn’t feel happy about it. It felt peculiar like when he had received the Mastermind token or the Avenger token.
‘Still, karma is karma, so…’
Moreover, since it was a karma he could only receive by hunting for a long time naked, considerable intellectuals wouldn’t even be able to peek a glance at it.
Lee Shin Woo’s (nonexistent) heart ached when he thought about it seriously, so he stopped thinking about it. In any case, he now had a total of seven tokens. If he just got three more, he would be able to achieve the Trickster’s karma.
‘At first, I thought it would take me forever to gather 10 tokens, but I just need to get three more of them like this.’
Of course, it would probably be best to get more skills and attempt a new concept. Like the Druid… Lee Shin Woo promised to remember the term ‘Druid’ for now, and raised his head. Now that he thought about it, why hadn’t the slimes attacked him, when they hadn’t left him alone before?
The path was ending.
There was a circular iron gate situated at the end of the path.