<Chapter 6. Level 3 – 1>
[Low Rank Sprint has become Lv3.]
[Beginner Acid Resistance has evolved to the low rank level. You can resist acid more effectively, and acid resistance is also given to your equipment.]
How long would he have to roll around in the clearing filled with dirty water? Lee Shin Woo honestly felt thankful that he was a skeleton with unlimited stamina. Even if his stats were the same, he would’ve run out of energy already if he were a human, and been squashed.
“Tch, you’re still trying?”
As a result of it self-destructing in an attempt to shake off the Flames of Revenge, the Great Slime had reduced to the size of a normal slime. It did increase its speed significantly, but the problem was that it hadn’t gotten used to its smaller size, so its charge attacks’ accuracy had dropped.
“Umhp.” (let’s see)
Lee Shin Woo avoided its attack, as he had gotten used to its movements. It slammed into the opposite wall, and completely destroyed the surface of the wall. The force behind its charge had certainly become tremendous, but he could now close his eyes and still dodge its attack.
“My magic is slowly reaching its limit. Let’s finish this.”
If it wasn’t for the bones stockpiled in his inventory, it would’ve been impossible to endure until now. He had completely used them up, and squeezed out the mana to use his Regeneration skill. All in order to endure.
What’s worse, he hadn’t been able to repair a portion of his rib bones as they remained damaged until now. His armor was also worse for wear. He was already in this situation by the time his Acid Resistance had risen to low rank and he could imbue it to his armor.
However, the important thing was that he hadn’t died yet and endured.
‘Flames of Revenge.’
He thought about pouring all of his mana into the flames, but desperately controlled the urge, only instilling about half of his mana into the flames. He had left enough mana to utilize Regeneration, or the Flames of Revenge just one more time. If it didn’t die after taking two shots, then he’d really have to die and come back to life.
[Low Rank Magic Affinity has become Lv3. Magic has increased by 2. Your magic will have a greater effect with a lower amount of mana.]
The skill level had increased by a lot, but as he fought various battles within this dungeon, he felt as though he had taken a step into the domain of detailed mana control that couldn’t be explained simply by skill level.
There probably weren’t many amongst the senior heroes that could manipulate mana as delicately as he could, so he could say that he was truly amazing. Though he himself didn’t actually know that.
The Great Slime roared. It had realized that the flames that Lee Shin Woo used weren’t normal.
It became aware that the next time those flames touched it, it would die, and tried to avoid the flames at all cost. It started to quickly bounce around everywhere, to the point that if one were to witness it, they would get motion sickness.
However, Lee Shin Woo launched his Flames of Revenge without even properly aiming it. Since its size had lessened significantly, the slime seemed to think that it could somehow avoid the flames, but from the start, the Flames of Revenge was a technique that couldn’t be avoided!
As expected, the Flames of Revenge, neither quickly nor slowly, proceeded through the clearing and accurately struck the Great Slime’s body. And because Lee Shin Woo made use of the wind, the slime went up in flames. The flames burned slowly when its body was still huge, but now, its entire body was engulfed instantly.
At that moment, he heard a sound that he hadn’t heard before from the slime. Lee Shin Woo prepared for its self-destruct, and curled his body up again, but no matter how long he waited, it didn’t explode. Instead, this message appeared in front of him.
[You have hunted a Lv3 Great Slime.]
[You have achieved the feat of defeating an elite monster that was a higher level than you by only using fire. Magic has increased by 5. You have acquired the ‘Four Elements: Fire’ token. Beginner Flames of Revenge has reached level 10, and evolved into the low rank level. You can create stronger flames with less mana, and you can imbue not only your weapons, but also your body with fire.]
He opened his (nonexistent) eyes wide. It was already astonishing that he had gotten his second token in this dungeon alone, but the fact that this message appeared meant…
Lee Shin Woo carefully raised his head. There was no explosion, and there definitely wasn’t a charge coming. Through the Great Slime’s rampage, various parts of the clearing had collapsed, and he saw a sphere radiating light in the center. It was a core!
Lee Shin Woo saw that and a lengthy sigh escaped his mouth. It was such a lengthy and intense battle that he couldn’t easily get the feeling that it was over, despite it definitely being over. It kind of felt like the day he was discharged from the army. The battle had felt that long to him.
“But I still won.”
He couldn’t give himself lip service and say he won due to his skill. Rather than needing his polished combat skills, he was just busy running away and shooting out flames. If this were a novel, the readers would say ‘what kind of development is this?’ and criticize it.
However, he won. Regardless of the means necessary, he won. He won without dying. That was enough for him. He was as happy as he could be.
He won, so it was now time to collect the loot. Lee Shin Woo moved his creaking body and walked over to where the Great Slime lay dead. There were four things there. Perium, the Great Slime’s core, someone’s deteriorated bone, and finally, a large shield.
[You have acquired 11,210 Perium.]
[You have acquired the Great Slime’s Bone Core.]
[You have acquired a deteriorated Skeleton Shielder’s shoulder bone.]
[You have acquired a Lv2 Bone Tower Shield (+5).]
‘If this goes well, I won’t even need to go the shop to level up…’
Due to his achievement, his stats had risen to a total of 396. He didn’t have a way to tell what level monster the Skeleton Shielder was, but if he included this, and the Great Slime’s Bone Core, it felt like he’d be able to raise his stats by at least 4.
For starters, he collected the Perium. He checked his inventory and saw that he had collected 71,130 Perium after this last deposit. He was truly deeply moved. It only seemed like a couple days ago that he was pondering which bone he should pick which cost a little more than 3,000 Perium, yet to think he had gathered a sum of 70,000 Perium already…!
He looked at his inventory and after nodding his head a few times, moved on to his next task. That was to put all his equipment into his inventory.
‘When I got to level 2, Bone Reinforcement had absorbed all of my equipment as well. Since there’s a high likelihood of that happening again…’
Of course, at the same time, the Bone Reinforcement’s effects had been truly amazing. It would retain the abilities of the weapons, no, it could increase those abilities during the absorption. However… even if he obtained the abilities his equipment had, the defensive capabilities, as well as their attack power aren’t retained.
Since the Bone of Thunder Lasting and the Dire Wolf Bone Armor were items that possessed outstanding attack power and defensive capabilities, it would be a complete waste to sacrifice them in order to gain some stats. So, he needed to prepare before leveling up.
He actually removed the other items from his inventory, besides the Bone of Thunder Lasting, and the Dire Wolf Armor; this included the shield he had just acquired. They were all level 1 or level 2 equipment, and they were items he received as rewards from the dungeons.
Since both his weapon and armor were level 3, he thought the reinforcement would fail with this equipment, so he had stored them all. And if he were to aim for the right time for Bone Reinforcement with this equipment, he ascertained that that time was now: when he leveled up. He was starting to get the know-how of how this worked.
“Hoo, then shall we start?”
After he piled up the equipment right beside him, he inspected them with delighted eyes and raised the deteriorated Skeleton Shielder’s shoulder bone in his hand.
[You have reinforced your shoulder bone. Health has increased by 3. Absorbing a portion of the Skeleton Shielder’s memories and experiences.]
[Kukek, this warped, cursed body will ultimately be buried here… General, please forgive me for not being able to return to your side… – Hiles Keller]
Who the hell are you!? Why the hell are you saying something so profound!? No, and if we’re talking about a general here, is it Seagald or Leofield? If not, is it a new, third general!? Why are all the generals here so popular!?
“Damn it, I’ll remember the name ‘Hiles Keller’…”
He only wanted to improve his abilities, but why is this subplot constantly being attached? His curiosity naturally increased, but Lee Shin Woo decided to ignore it for now. More importantly, his stats now totaled 399 through Bone Reinforcement.
“I’m so scared that I’m shaking.”
Lee Shin Woo checked once again that his equipment was safely inside his inventory and cautiously grabbed the Great Slime’s Bone Core. He gripped it in one hand, sighed once again, and… initiated the Reinforcement.
[The Great Slime’s Bone Core reinforces your entire body. Magic has increased by 17. Acquiring a portion of the Great Slime’s memories and experiences.]
[Guoooooooooh! Kugeugeugeugeugagagagagaga! – Great Slime]
The Great Slime’s extremely clear memories passed through his brain. Its first memory was the moment its entire body was burning, going completely crazy, and self-destructing.
“It shouldn’t be, right…?”
He was worried with the Rat Queen that he’d get a skill based on birthing, but since he had acquired the Regeneration skill as a result, it should be like that this time as well. It had to.
The moment Lee Shin Woo muttered to himself, trying to get himself to accept it, a dark magic hung over him, as though it had been waiting for this moment.
[It is time for you to receive the karma you were endowed.]
[The Lv2 Bone Tower Shield (+5), as well as the other 13 bone equipment were consumed all at the same time, and Bone Reinforcement has been executed. The effects of the equipment a lower level than you are halved.]
It went as expected. He didn’t know how, but the moment he leveled up, all the bone equipment in his periphery were drawn to him and Bone Reinforcement was initiated! Perhaps this was why Bone Reinforcement possessed a modification ability; perhaps it was for this very moment…!
The equipment flew and changed into small particles. The instant those particles were absorbed, he felt a strong power rising throughout his body, as well as a sign that something was changing. Lee Shin Woo suddenly thought.
‘Perhaps… the ultimate goal of Bone Reinforcement is to integrate the strength of the bones, as well as the bone equipment into my body as one.’
Of course, it was still impossible to make a deduction. Did he have to try Reinforcing bone equipment with other bone equipment, or should he try to reinforce his own bones? It was still a problem that he needed to solve.
He couldn’t say which exactly was more effective yet. From now on, this was a problem he’d have to look into, possibly for quite a long time.
But right now, the only thing he was sure about was that he still needed the assistance of powerful equipment.
[Strength has increased by 11, Agility by 9, Health by 13, and Magic by 12. You have learned the active skill, Low Rank Harden Lv1.]
[The Bone Reinforcement skill has become Lv4. You can now target others and use your Bone Reinforcement on them.]
Even while he seriously considered his Bone Reinforcement and the direction of his growth, the change proceeded quickly. All the potential strength within the equipment was extracted and as a result, his stats were reinforced beyond his wildest imagination; in the process of leveling up, his bones thickened once again and became even more durable.
His height increased considerably and became close to 1 meter and 90 cm. His bones were even more saturated with darkness and anyone that saw him would say that his bones were black. And once the acquired memories and experiences were collected and organized, they bore fruit.
[Low Rank Sprint has changed into the Combat Sprint skill. The level remains the same. In exchange for the skill duration shortening, when it is used in tandem with a attack skill, the attack is amplified. Agility has increased by 5.]
[You have acquired the active skill, Low Rank Self-Destruct Lv1. By exploding a section, or even your entire body, you inflict tremendous damage to all your enemies in the surrounding area. You also take a significant amount of damage. Health and Magic have increased by 3.]
Combat Sprint was probably an ability that the shielder had. It had changed in a way that better suited him, so it couldn’t get any better than this.
More importantly, contrary to Regeneration, he hadn’t been saved from receiving the Self-Destruct skill… Lee Shin Woo decided to think about this later. After all, there was something much more important that he had to do right now. A change much greater than any skill… a level up.
[You have become level 3. The effectiveness of your stats increases. Your proficiency in combat related skills, with the addition of a bonus, increases. The boxes in your inventory increase by 20.]
[Due to the feats you have achieved, your species changes. You have become a Dark Skeleton. You are more aggressive and handle magic superbly, but you are extremely vulnerable to divine power. However, you have been blessed by God, so this weakness is nullified.]
[Resistances that lay dormant have been revealed.]
As he saw the message stating that his evolution was complete, Lee Shin Woo, who had calmed himself down, checked his body and muttered.
“A Dark Skeleton, huh?”
A Skeleton Avenger, or a Skeleton Warrior, is like a ‘job’ in a game, not a species. But this time, his species had actually changed.
Honestly, his bones were all dyed black now, and with one look, he gave off more of a menacing impression than before. He felt that his strength and his magic were much stronger, to the extent that they were incomparable to before. If it was with his current strength, he felt as though he could face the Great Slime head on.
‘However, my bones have turned black, so will I be able to properly fool the skeletons…?’
Lee Shin Woo had a concern that truly befitted a hero, and smiled gently. He could actually feel just how much more powerful his body had become, so he was able to cleanly sweep away his uneasiness and concern over the future.
He had something he needed to check first. Despite Lee Shin Woo roughly knowing, he shook for some reason, a reason that he himself couldn’t understand; he smiled bitterly and…
Opened his status.