Level Up - Chapter 7: Power Up Kit - 2
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Chang Soo stared at the Devil Vine lying dead on the ground. Then he turned his gaze towards Hyun Seok who was slowly coming down from the top of the hill.
“Hey Chang Soo, how did he do that?”
Park Myung Seok, who came next to him, asked with a dumbfounded look.
“Who knows? It’s only been three days…”
Perplexed by the situation, all of them could only shift their gaze alternately between Hyun Seok and the fallen Devil Vine…
Dealing with Thunder Dragonflies was rather easy so they didn’t think much about it, but the Devil Vines were a little different.
It has only been three days, but Hyun Seok had suddenly become several times stronger.
Unlike three days ago when he was trudging through the verge of dying while fighting, the Devil Vine’s neck fell off after he swung his sword a few times.
Furhermore, at that time, Hyun Seok had almost collapsed from exhaustion after defeating a single Devil Vine.
But right now, he seemed like he could hunt another vine right away. He was that lively.
How can a person change so much just in three days?
They stared blankly at Hyun Seok, who was currently dismantling the Devil Vine.
Then, the dazed Choi Chang Soo suddenly came to his senses and he carefully approached Hyun Seok.
They have to check how to extract a magical core. If they keep on observing him, wouldn’t they be able to learn it?
However, all Choi Chang Soo could see was Hyun Seok getting up empty-handed.
“Are you done? Did a core not come out this time too?”
That was actually the current norm. It was rather strange that a core came out after every catch.
Choi Chang Soo scanned Hyun Seok’s body with doubtful eyes.
“That bag looks a little suspicious, but…”
Hyun Seok was always carrying a bag. It contained the cores and byproducts they’ve obtained until now. But Hyun Seok wasn’t the only one with a bag. Everyone was holding a bag that was packed with the byproducts of the Thunder Dragonflies they’d hunted.
Of course, Hyun Seok had kept all the cores and body fluid from the dragonfly’s eyes. They were the most valuable items, after all.
“Shit! This looks so different! I can’t tell anything apart.”
The dismantling process itself was similar.
Hyun Seok dismantled the byproducts like normal, but Chang Soo was grumbling because he couldn’t tell whether there was a core or not.
Hyun Seok usually dismantles the Thunder Dragonfly in a swift manner, so it was hard to notice whether he smuggled the core or not. The core’s small size made it even harder. Hyun Seok could have slipped the core into his pocket, and Chang Soo wouldn’t have realized it.
He didn’t notice anything when Hyun Seok was right next to him, and even more so now that Hyun Seok was far away.
“How many of the cores did you get today?”
Usually, it was common to obtain at least one magical core after clearing a dungeon four times. In most cases, a core’s mana from Bronze 1 dungeon was only 500 or less.
If the mana within the core was below 500, its market price would be less than 10 million won.
Most of the magical cores being distributed on the market had less than 500 mana, so the price would double if the core has more mana.
The average Bronze-tier dungeon-produced core has around 500 mana.
Even so, Chang Soo knew that the core Hyun Seok got three days ago had much more mana.
“Hmm… At least 1,000, and more than 2,000 for the Devil Vine’s.”
A core with 1,000 mana could be gained when hunting in Silver-tiered dungeons, while the 2,000 mana was usually found in Gold-tier dungeons.
But obtaining such cores still depends on luck. Even if they actually hunt in a Silver-tiered dungeon, they were likely to find magical cores with less than 500 mana. However, the chances for getting a core was higher than in a Bronze-tiered dungeon.
“This is definitely not a coincidence!”
Obviously, what happened during the past few days was not normal. Once or twice, it may be luck, but the same thing kept on happening. A dozen times in a row only means that there must be something going on.
Because they found nothing, there was no distribution either.
Chang Soo decided to hold back his discontent for now.
“Let’s go out,” said Chang Soo.
Hyun Seok nodded in response and followed.
“Well, today’s not the last anyway…” Chang Soo sighed.
Although he was impatient, he endured it for days. He believed that he would have a chance if he waited…
Hyun Seok headed straight towards the core as if he already knew where it was. He placed his hand on the core and…
The core shattered a second later. Startling Chang Soo and the others by the sudden noise. They didn’t expect the core to break that fast. But that wasn’t the end of their surprise.
After being warped out of the dungeon, a small shield has appeared floating in the air.
Hyun Seok picked up the shield, receiving everyone’s attention.
The Mana waves then started rippling in every direction.
Choi Chang Soo dumbfoundedly watched the scene unfold.
* * *
The Dungeon Headquarters was a global organization. They were closely linked to the governments of every country. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have been able to exert such a significant influence.
In addition, each country’s Dungeon Headquarters are operating individually.
The only thing in common was the name, and there wasn’t much contact between each headquarters.
They’re all moving for their own benefits.
Choo Kwang Yeol, a player, was in charge of the Korean Dungeon Headquarters. He was a monster at level 98. He was the second-highest leveled player, just after Ryan from America. Although the level doesn’t directly correlate to one’s strength, it was safe to say that the higher the level, the higher the chances that the person is strong.
It was because one’s mana pool increases by a large margin after each level up, so it gets harder to level up at higher levels.
Even so, there was nothing wrong with calling Choo Kwang Yeol the second strongest in the world. Although there existed a variable–an artifact. And Choo Kwang Yeol had a powerful artifact.
His cousin, Choo Kyung Hoon, was also the head of the Gyeonggi branch of the Korean Dungeon Headquarters.
Choo Kyung Hoon got this position through the influence of his cousin, so he was eager to clear this stigma by proving his worth by some accomplishment.
It wasn’t enough for him to level up through hunting, nor did he have the talent, so his level stagnated at 57.
The average level of a branch manager was above 70. Although level 57 was incredibly high, compared to other branch managers, it was nothing.
Choo Kyung Hoon was reading a report in interest.
Unlike other branch managers, Choo Kyung Hoon had a keen interest in the dungeon spawning area, the players who fought in dungeons, and the people who were researching byproducts from the dungeons.
That’s because he thought there would be a breakthrough there.
“Isn’t it fair to say that he knows a special method?” Choo Kyung Hoon asked.
His secretary who was standing politely beside him, immediately replied.
“I’m not sure yet. But it’s definitely worth investigating.”
Choo Kyung Hoon nodded in agreement.
“Chae Hyun Seok… He’s been clearing dungeons like crazy. It’s only been two months since he became a player but he had cleared more than 100 dungeons.” Choo Kyung Hoon mumbled.
He looked at his secretary with a puzzled face and asked, “But his level isn’t written anywhere. Did you forget it?”
The secretary then replied with a perplexed look.
“Mr. Chae Hyun Seok hasn’t measured his level yet.”
“What? Why wouldn’t he?” Choo Kyung Hoon was baffled.
Most players would measure their level immediately even if they didn’t feel anything in particular because many perks followed a higher level.
However, it was incomprehensible that he had cleared the dungeon more than 100 times, but never measured his level for no apparent reason.
“I do not know. I hinted to the gatekeepers to ask, but they haven’t made much progress.”
“Really? That’s strange. Anyway… we’ll have to make contact with him. Who would be the right person?” asked Choo Kyun Hoon.
“He’s a young man with a lot of vigor…”
At the secretary’s words, Choo Kyung Hoon began to think. After recalling the list of female players he could call, he found the right person.
“How about Ryu Ji Hye?”
“She’s a great choice. But I’m not sure whether she’ll accept the order.”
“She had no choice but to accept. I have what she wants.”
The secretary’s expression brightened and replied.
“Then I’ll get in touch with her. But…” the secretary paused and made a dark face.
“What if it’s just a result of luck? Wouldn’t it be a waste to use one of Ryu Ji Hye’s weaknesses?”
Choo Kyung Hoon laughed at his question.
“You worry about everything. There’s plenty of gains just by confirming the truth, and…”
Choo Kyung Hoon shifted his gaze to the report and said,
“He’s probably hiding something since he made this way too ambiguous.”
At the remark, the secretary nodded as she had just realized it.
The thought certainly made it worth investigating. The probability of Hyun Seok obtaining a core was perfectly controlled as if it was purposely manipulated.
The secretary looked at Choo Kyung Hoon with a refreshed look.
Someone else would not have made such a bold guess by seeing this report.
They would probably just regard it as luck. If Choo Kyung Hoon hadn’t pointed it out, she would have probably done the same. The numbers were handled so well that she did not see anything wrong.
“Now, thinking about it…. There really is something strange.”
The secretary became curious about the man named Chae Hyun Seok.
“If he had purposely done this, he’s certainly not average.”
Chae Hyun Seok’s age caught the secretary’s eye.
“21 years old…”
The secretary felt Choo Kyung Hoon’s gaze and quickly responded and she bowed slightly towards Choo Kyung Hoon.
“Then, I’ll take care of it immediately.”
Choo Kyung Hoon nodded and gestured to her to go out.
As the secretary went outside, Choo Kyung Hoon’s eyes gleamed as he confirmed the report once again.
“I can’t be the only one who has seen this… I wonder who else would take action?”
A confident smile formed on Choo Kyung Hoon’s face as he mumbled.
Translator and Editor Notes:
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