Chapter 239: Chapter 238: Death Part I
A small feast was held in the Shire Guild’s headquarters to honor the new member of the Empire Alliance, the Messenger Guild. We could have thrown a bigger one instead, but we believed it was best to not antagonize the Kintore Alliance and we didn’t want to bring more attention to the Empire. I was really enjoying the simple festivities as well, after Victor had given me the Bortega Necklace and from the message I received the day before.
==[Ripped Advance is no longer in effect.
You will lose 0-100 stat points randomly from your five Stats.]==
==[You have lost stat points from the following Stats.
STR 0, AGI 0, VIT 0, WIL 0, INT 0]==
I didn’t lose a single stat point. Losing even a hundred Stat points would leave barely a dent in my Stats, but it was better to not lose any at all. I had lost nothing from the duel I had with Arthur, and gained so much more. I was so happy that I could almost fully enjoy the party, except for one little problem.
“You’re so popular, Jiwon!” Arthur had been sticking close to me like a leech and chattered nonstop. It also didn’t help that he was attracting a lot of attention, thanks to the Shire Guild spreading the rumors that he was strong. Because no one had ever heard of him before, it was normal for many people to come asking for him and to others, it was starting to look like Arthur and I were really friendly. Now, I didn’t really think of him as a friend yet, but I didn’t try to push him away or display my displeasure. I made my promise to Victor that I would look kindly on Arthur, so I decided to just let it happen.
Three days later…
I entered the Dark Caster Dungeon once again. The entire time during the party, I was itching to try out the Bortega’s Horn Necklace. Arthur had told me a little bit about the Necklace and how overpowered it was. He told me that he would gain an average of one extra level each time he leveled up. That was great enough already, but I was confident I could do better. If I could get 3 Shaman Ko Stat points a day, every day, when there was only a 1/100 chance to get it, I could certainly gain three more extra levels!
I gave a heavy sigh. Hunting was all I could think about during the party, but now that I was standing in front of monsters, I was getting nervous in case I was wrong. I could be content with an average of one extra level, but I was already expecting so much out of the Necklace that I hated to be let down.
“Mana Conversion – Fire. Warrior’s Brave Spirit. Howl of the Wolf.”
==[Mana Conversion – Fire Level 7 has been activated.]==
==[Warrior’s Brave Spirit Level 2 has been activated.]==
==[Howl of the Wolf has been activated.]==
I activated my combat buffs and moved towards a horde of undead monsters. “Fissure!” I yelled as I slammed my spear into the ground. “Judge’s Gavel. Blink 2.” And so, I began my fervent hunting, activating my strongest skills every time I could to level them up.
After some time, the message I was waiting for finally appeared.
==[You have gained a level.]==
It took me almost the entire day to gain just one level, but I was well over level 800 since the Defense quest. Gaining one level in a single day was unbelievably quick, but it was possible thanks to the 199% EXP boost on my King-Emperor’s Commitment. Another message appeared soon after.
==[You have received Bortega’s Blessing.
You will gain 0-3 extra levels.]==
“3! 3! 3!”
==[You have gained 3 extra levels from Bortega’s Blessing.]==
“…Yes!” I had gained 4 levels in a single day, even though I was past level 800. This was amazing. I only had a 25% chance of getting three more levels. There was also a 25% of getting 0 levels which was, if you thought about it, quite high. And yet, I had still made it happen and could probably keep getting three extra levels. I turned to another horde of monsters, ready to prove my theory right.
During the same time Lee Jiwon was hunting in high spirits, the rest of the world was slightly panicking. Store 102 in Nairobi, Kenya, was the main Store devas from Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and the rest of East Africa went to. That Store had just disappeared.
Everyone had believed that Stores were going to stay around forever, but a Store had just completely vanished one morning. The devas of East Africa panicked, unsure of why this had happened, but they were soon silenced when the reason was revealed to them. The Store had disappeared because Earth’s Otadolon stage was coming to an end, and the Judge’s Continent was drawing ever closer.
It was revealed that the Store with the lowest score had to pack up and leave. This was the wake-up call for everyone in the world that they were going to lose their superpowers and their ability to resurrect after death. After that, Stores around the world began to disappear one after another, within days of each other.
I cackled as I cut through hordes and hordes of monsters. In two weeks, I had leveled up five times, and each time I had gained 3 extra levels. That was 20 levels in two weeks or about 1.3 levels a day. It was all thanks to my Luck Boost. Honestly, there were times where I thought that I would get unlucky even during the Shaman Ko points, and end up losing 1 point or something. It didn’t matter if I had got 3 SK points every day; I still worried the same about the levels.
“Whatever! I’ll worry about it when that happens,” I said to myself as I continued to kill monsters. Then, while I was mid-hunt, my Comm Link rang and I picked up right away.
“We were going to wait until you finished hunting, but things are getting worse. You need to hear about this now.”
“What is it?”
“Stores around the world are leaving.”
“Yes, sir. The Store with the lowest score was the first to go, and around ten more Stores have left so far. They’ve been leaving at a rate of one Store per week.”
“Huh… I see. I understand. Thank you for telling me.”
“Yes, sir. We’ll see you when you get home.”
“Goodbye,” I said and hung up. I stared at my Comm Link. “Is this the beginning?” Anton hadn’t told me about any noticeable changes, and I honestly didn’t expect there would be any, but I guess I was wrong. With Stores disappearing left and right, it wouldn’t be long until the Judge’s Continent finally arrived.
I put my Comm Link away and gripped my spear before charging in at another horde. I needed to get even stronger.
Shaman Ko was happily going about in his domain with the Dungeon Mole still tied to his body. The Dungeon Mole had seemingly resigned itself to its fate and let itself get bounced around on the ground and didn’t even try to walk on its own four legs. Something else watched them from behind in the shadows… something called Death.
Death looked down at itself.
==[Death (Possessed by Shaman Ko)
The Sovereignty of Death]==
Death was now owned by Shaman Ko… owned by that raggedy and shaggy-looking child. Death had done everything it could to escape this place, but it had failed every single escape attempt. It had come close when this domain was somehow connected to the true death it had always sought after. It had thrown itself at the hole that formed in the sky and was able to get a hand out, but that connection lasted less than a second.
==[Death is currently possessed by Shaman Ko.]==
The moment Death had placed its hand outside and back into its domain of death, it was pulled right back down into Shaman Ko’s domain. It couldn’t escape, all because it was owned by Shaman Ko.
A shiver suddenly ran down Death’s spine, and it looked up to see Shaman Ko glaring at it.
“How dare you?!” Shaman Ko zoomed over to where Death was and slammed his foot at Death’s head. “You were insulting me again, weren’t you?”
Death shook its head. Words meant nothing to Shaman Ko.
“Hmph. It wasn’t you? I was sure I felt something bad. Be good. I’m always watching you.”
Death nodded and Shaman Ko finally turned around and went away, dragging the Dungeon Mole behind him.
For a split second, Death and the Dungeon Mole locked eyes. They both realized that they were in the same position, but Death was envious of the Dungeon Mole. At least it had some freedom and occasionally left this place. It was always smiling whenever it returned, as if it had taken a well-deserved break.
Death dug around the domain every chance it could, in case there was some hole it could hide in, but there was nothing. But it still searched because wherever that hole might be, it would be heaven compared to having to deal with Shaman Ko…