I Login Alone - Chapter 8: Guardian Stone
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The sub-master of Korean’s largest guild died. Of course, every TV channel he turned on was talking about the death of Soaring Tempest’s sub-master Soo Ah-rin.
[It was a hasty attempt. The idea of clearing the world’s first level 32 dungeon blurred our rational judgement. She was an excellent and gentle healer. We never meant to lose her like this…]
[There is no other genius healer like Soo Ah-rin in the world. Soaring Tempest will be shedding the title of the world’s top guild for the time being, or even forever to mourn over our sub-master.]
Members of the Soaring Tempest guild and other Korean guilds were also saddened by Soo Ah-rin’s death. She is very popular among players. Perhaps her fairy-like beauty was also one of the reasons for her popularity.
“It’s just that the Healer class is rare. Oh, you can think of class as a term similar with the one inside games. The ability to strengthen an individual’s specialty. If you clear the 10th level dungeon, you can get it as an achievement reward.”
“Not by your level, but by the dungeon’s level that you cleared?”
“Yeah. The standard of evaluating strength in the Sky Castle is the level of the dungeon cleared before.”
Each dungeon has two entry conditions. The first is your level, and the second is that the lower level dungeons are cleared. No matter how high your level is, if you haven’t cleared the 2nd level dungeon, you can’t enter the 3rd level dungeon, and if you haven’t cleared the 4th level dungeon then you can’t enter the 5th level dungeon.
“There are some people who are afraid of the upper dungeons and only attack the lower dungeons. Their level may increase a little bit, but their skill doesn’t grow, and they don’t officially receive their class, so basically they didn’t grow as a player at all.”
“If you die in the dungeon, you actually die in real life too, So, it’s understandable for them to be afraid.”
Even when Soo Ah-rin was answering his question, Jung Si-woo was deep in his thoughts and stayed still.
So far, he has repeatedly shattered whatever is in the way in front of him and moved forward. But it was because the things that blocked him were weak compared to him. But if a much stronger wall appears, what will happen to Jung Si-woo?
Will he give up and turn back like the players Soo Ah-rin explained? Or would he rather be defeated like Soo Ah-rin after a formidable challenge?
‘Well, I’ll just think about it when I face it then.’
Perhaps if he met a challenge, he might enjoy it instead, as to him ‘suffering’ was a word unrelated to him. No matter how strong and hard, high or thick it is, he will destroy it until he collapses. That is something to be expected.
He stopped thinking about it, because at least for the time being, it’s a situation he won’t face.
“Ah-rin, are you really okay being with me?”
“Yeah? Ah… About the funeral.”
Soo Ah-rin did say she has no relatives. In fact, the funeral halls are only filled with other players who were her teammates and her schoolmates. Still, when I saw some of them crying sadly, I thought, Soo Ah-rin must have been loved…
“There were only bothersome people who wanted to borrow money or to go out with me, it worked out for the better. Let’s do a reset and start anew. ”
Soo Ah-rin’s words were as if she’s simply in the summer’s PE class and the students forgot to turn off the air conditioner in their class, so she went into another cool, empty classroom. She said it like it was nothing.
“More than that, the most important thing right now is your training.”
“I’m still doing it.”
Jung Si-woo replied while lifting the dumbbells with all his might. Of course, there are no dumbbells in the world that he cannot lift. So why is he struggling with the dumbbell like this? It is because he was practicing the basic technique of mana, Amplification.
“All weapons are strengthened with mana. Throwing daggers, and even ordinary slings, make mana a promising weapon. This is because mana has the property to amplify the strength of everything.”
It strengthens everything and you could feel it once it comes. Didn’t Jung Si-woo already experience it? The moment he awakened mana in his body, he sensed that mana strengthens his body and amplifies the superhuman powers he originally possessed. He felt that he could transcend the state of being an ordinary human.
“So that feeling was artificial? This is hard.”
“There is nothing easy in this world.”
The reason why he’s practicing amplification when their goal is strike is because it is an extension of strike.
“So, I could gather the mana and make them shoot forward and explode, right?”
“To be exact, it’s like you’re pouring the mana out while matching the directions of the physical and magical attributes.”
Let’s say Jung Si-woo is swinging the hammer. At the very moment when you strike a monster with the hammer, the mana that was injected into the hammer is going along in the direction of the hit, thereby accelerating the attack speed and strengthening the attack power. Thus, it deals more damage than usual.
Strike is completed when the mana reaches the target swiftly and explodes. No matter how many times he thinks about it, it seems like it will definitely hurt if you’re hit by that.
Jung Si-woo thought that this would be complicated and difficult, but Soo Ah-rin laughed while explaining about the strike.
“But in fact, most players acquire Strike before Amplification. That’s why I told you about Strike first.”
“Think of it like this. It’s easier to pour out mana at once then slowly pulling the mana out. But instead, it’s difficult to get the true power of Strike because the timing of the blow will become a mess.”
Most players acquire Strike first and through practice and hard work, they slowly master Amplification and Strike. It was then that a thunderbolt struck the head of Jung Si-woo, who was thinking quietly as he realized something.
“Isn’t that already possible for me?! I can already control mana back and forth!”
“Do you want to fight with such a poor and incomplete strike?”
Soo Ah-rin’s words scratched his pride as a man, so he replied with a stifled voice. Soo Ah-rin sat on the desk and smiled at him.
“Listen. Strike is a skill that entails three stages of attack. I believe that you will surely be able to master all of it perfectly.”
“You’re too good with words.”
Jung Si-woo decided to admit his defeat. At least in the area of mana, Soo Ah-rin is the perfect tutor.
“Then what happens if you pour mana inside a weapon that doesn’t have innate mana in them?”
“Weapons will be slightly strengthened, but there will be no explosive power. In the first place, you don’t have much mana to work with anyway.”
“Then, what if I pour mana into my fist or my feet as a weapon to do a Strike?”
“That’s possible, but it will be painful because you have to suffer the damage from the explosion at the moment without weapons… Uh, well. But if it’s you, I think you’ll be fine.”
High-level players also use strike with their body once their body was able to stand it. However, Soo Ah-rin thinks that Jung Si-woo’s body is in no way weaker than those players. Soo Ah-rin convinced herself and nodded firmly, Jung Si-woo looked at her and smiled.
“I like the idea of being able to generate strong attack power by pouring mana even when there is no weapon. Well, how about this?”
Jung Si-woo tried to throw a dumbbell. Pouring mana into a weapon and then throwing them will ignite an exploding response the moment it reaches the target. This is the so-called long-range strike. Soo Ah-rin nodded while looking at his gesture.
“Most players who use long range weapons like bows or spears use Strike like that. However, it is important to keep in mind that the mana poured into a weapon depletes slowly from the moment it leaves your hand. The question is whether there is enough mana left when it reaches the target and whether it can explode properly when it is handled from a distance.”
“Mana really is complicated…”
“You just started learning mana. So, don’t think too hard.”
“Um, yes. It is difficult.”
It is funny how there is energy in his body that he still couldn’t fully control, and he is jealous of the fact that many other humans have already mastered this power. But he is thrilled that this means his strength will only increase in the future.
Jung Si-woo was originally strong, but that’s why he wanted to be stronger. He thought he was born to be strong. It wasn’t that he wanted anything with his power, he just wanted to be purely strong.
Jung Si-woo, who was in love with the idea of being in trouble, nodded his head to Soo Ah-rin, who was calling him with a concerned voice, and focused on the dumbbell in his hand again. Mana that was spread all over his body was gathered and was slowly sent to the dumbbells.
As she already said, it is not difficult to send mana to the dumbbells. However, it was unreasonably hard to keep it there, or to make it move in another direction.
Still, it won’t take long for him to get used to it.
‘After all, there’s nothing in my body that I can’t handle. It’s just that my body was startled and was not able to adapt to the sudden energy. ‘
It’s just like how he hides his lizard tail that just popped up on his body. Jung Si-woo nodded firmly while thinking about it. It is important to practice Amplification, but he felt the need to practice more in dealing with the tail on his body.
Just as wings are essential for Sky Castle’s Players, tails are essential for Jung Si-woo, an Underground Player. It is true that he must dig the ground to enter the dungeon but there must be a time in fights where his tail will be useful as well.
“Okay, I have to practice using my tail after dinner. Any tips on that?”
“I know how to use wings, but I’m not sure about the tail. How about shaking your tailbone?”
“As expected, it’s a useless question after all.”
“As expected?! This is the best answer I could give! I’ve never seen someone with a tail before, how would I know what to do?”
Soo Ah-rin who fluttered her feathered wings in dissatisfaction looked very cute. However, when Jung Si-woo returned to his practice of mana again, a very strange news was heard on the TV that was continuously tuned to the same channel.
[On the other hand, Mr. Kim Ha-ryong, the fiancé of Soo Ah-rin and the master of the Soaring Tempest guild, insists that Soo Ah-rin is not dead. Mr. Kim Ha-ryong said that her name wasn’t listed on the guardian stone inside the Sky Castle.]
Jung Si-woo and Soo Ah-rin met each other’s eyes. Soo Ah-rin shook her wings and insisted.
“He’s not my fiancé, he just assumed he was. I’ve been busy clearing dungeons, and I’ve never had a relationship. You can’t get the wrong idea! Never!”
No, not that, but the Guardian Stone.
Jung Si-woo sighed. Though not now, he had an intense feeling that it would bother him someday.
Translator and Editor Notes:
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