A VIP as Soon as You Log In - Chapter 20: The Sports Day's Dark Horse - 2
Join our discord to get latest updates and progress about the translations
The workshop which he returned to after a couple of days was as cozy and tranquil as he found it last time.
No matter what sort of disaster happened outside, the room had maintained the same appearance. Looking around the room, he noticed that his temper had cooled down, which was heated by meeting an irritating sunbae. Of course, the irritation hadn’t sunk completely.
“Then. . . . . . Let’s get started.”
[A shield would be a good idea.]
The Administrator, who had been talking about whether Yoo Min-joon should live, calmly responded to his cooling temperament.
He turned his eyes to the steel ingots piled up in one corner. Perhaps because his emotions were ahead of his head, his spirit power naturally stretched out and encased the whole pile.
The faint feelings he received from the steel ingots ran head-on against the anger that rumbled inside his heart, wiping out the anger at its roots.
But there was one feeling that survived inside him. He had a faint but clear anger that was about to fade at any moment. It was coming from the bottom of the pile of ingots.
From the moment it entered the workshop, the ingot was waiting to be reborn as a great weapon, but being constantly buried under the pile, its anger had accumulated to the point of being manifested on its surface.
‘Well, this is. . . . . .’
But that wasn’t all; along with those feelings, a faint memory had slipped into Kang Shin-hyuk’s head. It was a memory relating to Lee Manwoo, the supervising teacher of the Artifacts Production Club.
It was a scene of him holding the hammer that Kang Shin-hyuk previously used and pounding on metal placed on top of the anvil. There was another person next to him, but the memory faded into the abyss before he could recognize her face.
“Oh, no, it’s nothing. Let’s go with this guy.”
[But. . . . . . Okay. After all, metals with distinct emotions are more likely to become artifacts.]
Whatever memory it possessed, the emotions the ingot emitted matched him very well. Though Kang Shin-hyuk didn’t believe that he could make an artifact.
He overheard the message from the Administrator who still highly valued him and picked up the ingot to put it in the brazier. He thought blankly at the sight of the red-hot ingot.
‘If I’m going to create a shield, I’m going to have to melt the ingot more than I did for the weapon.’
He decided to think about exactly what he was going to make after melting it.
Despite that plan, however, Kang Shin-hyuk immediately began hammering as soon as the ingot melted moderately.
He couldn’t wait any longer. He couldn’t stay still any longer.
Clang! Clang! Clang!
The hammering itself was much more mature than the first attempt, but there was a blatantly wild feeling involved that could not stay hidden.
It was hard to tell whether he was affected by the emotions of the ingot, or whether it was the externalization of his own anger. From the moment the iron was melted, his spirit power had already covered his body and the ingot, making the distinction impossible to make.
Clang! Clang! Clang!
The metal was getting slowly yet consistently elongated as the hammering continued.
It didn’t take the form of a shield no matter how you looked at it, but the Administrator decided to keep watching without interrupting the process. This was because it had already predicted this to happen.
Clang! Clang! Clang!
Kang Shin-hyuk has been good at hiding his feelings since his childhood.
At a young age, he lost his parents and had to grow up in an orphanage. His newly awakened trait was nothing more than a glittering apricot (1), and he sweated blood for years to be admitted to Shinyoung, only to be treated like a black sheep (2) by everyone else.
He was never in a circumstance where he could express his feelings honestly.
That’s why he had to press on. Having gotten used to bottling up his feelings, he had forgotten how to express them.
Clang! Clang! Clang!
However, he could not keep telling lies in front of Anvil. The blacksmithing skills he acquired in his previous life was the practice of revealing everything about himself to what he worked on.
Just as the ingot had emancipated Kang Shin-hyuk of his anger through the connection established by his spirit power, Kang Shin-hyuk was beginning to clear the metal of the anger that had been residing within it for quite a long time.
Clang! Clang! Clang!
Kang Shin-hyuk became totally absorbed into the task and pressed on the metal. Even while adding two more ingots into the brazier, his hammering did not stop.
His spirit power started enveloping the whole workshop. The amount of spirit power released would have been unbearable if he tried a couple of days ago, but it became manageable after securing his spirit power level at D+ Rank.
‘I’ve never done anything like this.’
Kang Shin-hyuk thought in his deep concentration.
‘It’s definitely the second time I’ve tried blacksmithing. . . . . . But why?’
‘I feel like this is the third time.’
He had a curious sense of deja vu.
Clang! Clang! Clang!
Soon after he had the thought, he began to hear the sound of hammering in his head.
A hammering sound different from his.
It was the sound of Anvil’s hammering.
The memory belonged to Anvil’s early days of joining the Hero Universe.
Clang! Clang! Clang!
As Kang Shin-hyuk did from the moment he first entered the clubroom’s workshop, the blacksmith kept working on the iron.
Anvil’s hammering, which had been full of passion at the beginning, now contained the resentment against the fallen world, longing for everything he lost and anger at those who took everything from him.
Just as Kang Shin-hyuk did, he also couldn’t hide his feelings while he smithed.
Swoosh, swoosh. . . . . .
Although he decided to focus only on shaping the metal in a deeply immersed state of mind, what he faced after he sharpened its tip was a spear infused with so much hate that it could not be held properly.
“This is. . . . . . Whoo, I’ve made a silly mistake.”
The blacksmith let out a soft sigh before the failed weapon.
The anger that was seething inside him had to be his own, never to escape his body. He didn’t want to put his weapon, which he deemed equally as his child, under the same burden since the moment of its birth.
Even if he tried to forget the feeling, or at least keep his mind straight so as not to have it exposed, whenever he let his mind be guided by his instinct, the shadows he so forcefully tried to suppress rose on their feet to haunt him again.
“This one’s a failure. This one’s a failure.”
He seriously agonized over whether he should list the weapon on the community he recently joined, Hero Universe’s trade board.
A place where various items from all sorts of dimensions are gathered, the Hero Universe. It occurred to him that his weapon might bring about an unintended adverse effect by selling it there.
He was crafting alone in a dying world, but the folks in Hero Universe had endless possibilities. In fact, he thought, it was ridiculous to try to mix himself in with such a group.
[That’s not really true, dear member.]
The Administrator, who had been positive with him from the moment they’ve met, sided with him once again.
[Even if the weapon may possess a violent aura, it can be used to protect people. Just as you, with all your anger inside, are making weapons for others.]
“But you’re just talking about the possibility. I’m just concerned if my presence alone might inflict a negative influence on them.]
[Everyone within Hero Universe has the ability to distinguish a good decision from a bad one, at least to an extent. In fact, all of the weapons you’ve already made and registered on the trade board were bought with rave reviews by the buyers.]
[So, I recommend listing your completed weapon on the trade board. Now that you’ve done your part in creating the weapon, you can leave its evaluation to the warriors who will actually wield it.]
“Your words always frighten me. But yes, you’re right. My role is to make weapons, and the role of figuring out their use and evaluating them are left to those who hold them in their hands.”
[A 10HP bonus to our courageous member!]
Although it was a place full of brilliantly shining heroes that could not be compared to his pathetic self,
The presence of those brave souls was the reason why he could entrust his weapons’ fates without too much concern.
The blacksmith plucked up his courage to list the weapon on the trade board. Then he received a message he had never anticipated.
[We have received two messages from prospective buyers. Would you like to check?]
“Hm. . . . . .?”
[Looks like they liked the weapon you made. It is highly recommended to establish new friendships with members of Hero Universe, so as the Administrator, I would like to recommend you check the contents of the messages.]
“If you say so, I understand. I’ll check both.”
Messages from two different people soon appeared in front of his eyes.
Janus: Wow, this spear is interesting! Your ID is Anvil? What kind of work do you do? Which world are you from? Would you like to talk?
Tsukuyo: Are you the one who made this weapon? Anvil. . . . . . Anvil, is it? I wish to have a conversation with you. Do you have time?
But the spear was sold while he was looking at the messages. Moreover, the buyer had paid 30,000 HP more than the price offered by the blacksmith. It was by someone who didn’t identify himself.
Janus: You, you’re a real genius. To be able to instill your emotions into a weapon. . . . . . It’s spirit power, right? That’s not a common gift to have even in this Hero Universe.
Tsukuyo: It was, indeed, a beautiful spear. My heart fell when I saw the weapon. Yes, I’ve fallen in love. I’m dying to know what allowed you to create a spear like this.
“Huh. . . . . .”
The blacksmith was perplexed by the members’ reactions but was willing to reply to them.
He was trapped in his own space forging weapons, and having another person talk to was something he had longed for for a long time.
That was the beginning of the blacksmith’s connection to the members of Hero Universe.
[Synchronization rate is increasing. Your assimilation rate is now at 2.9%.]
“. . . . . . Ah.”
When he came to his senses, Kang Shin-hyuk was in the clubroom. He had lost consciousness when the spear was completed.
He had been intending to make a shield that he could use for the rookie competition, but he couldn’t figure out how he ended up with a spear in his hand.
[You have successfully crafted the ‘poisonous’ steel spear (D) possessing a small amount of spirit power. The proficiency of your blacksmithing techniques has greatly increased.]
[Your blacksmithing skill has grown to (E+) Rank. You are now able to handle a hammer more efficiently and have gained a minor resistance to heat.]
“That was. . . . . .”
For the first time, he has created a D Rank weapon and raised the rank of his blacksmithing skill, but Kang Shin-hyuk wasn’t pleased.
The countless memories disturbed him that he recalled in those short moments and the deep emotions accompanying them.
It was different from the previous memory of Anvil that he absorbed. The previous memory only contained faint memories of Anvil that was implanted on the axe’s origin, but Kang Shin-hyuk had now directly extracted Anvil’s memory in every detail.
The memory was incredibly vivid; the sense of his unity with Anvil, the authenticity of the memories that came to his mind and the sense of hammering that was still left in his body–everything was as clear as if he had experienced them himself.
[Our dear member has created a similar weapon in the past. That action must have increased the synchronization rate. A 100HP bonus for achieving nostalgic achievements!]
“In the past. . . . . . . I see, so that feeling was referring to then.”
He looked down at his spear and reflected back on Anvil’s memory that filled his mind.
In his memory, Anvil could not suppress the negative emotions that were seething inside him and eventually transmitted them to his own weapon.
He deemed the weapon as a failure, but his friend Janus found it interesting. Tsukuyo, who apparently fell in love with Anvil due to his weapon, said it was beautiful.
It was also the first time he made a “failure,” and the moment his friendship with other members of Hero Universe began.
“Ha. . . . . .”
Then why had he acquired this memory at this timing? It was needless to ponder; Kang Shin-hyuk already knew the answer.
Kang Shin-hyuk failed to control the irritation and anger caused by Yoo Min-joon, turning the metal, which was supposed to become a defensive tool, into a sharp weapon.
The bottom line was that he had repeated a mistake from his past life.
“That was a common occurrence, though. . . . . . It was routine even before I got to know about Hero Universe.”
[It’s not like your feelings disappear by trying to suppress them. But you did a great job. Anger can sometimes become the driving force. In fact, the weapon you’ve just created possesses the power to slay monsters.]
There was a saying that a weapon starts at D Rank. It was meant to express that a hunter must be given at least a D Rank weapon to fight properly in a battle.
In fact, for any rank below D, the weapon could not overpower monsters that were strong in terms of durability and ability.
“I definitely wasn’t trying to ‘escape’. . . . . But I guess this one’s still a failure, huh?”
“What a joke.”
It was then. Someone next to him answered back. When Kang Shin-hyuk turned around with a startled look, Lee Manwoo, the teacher in charge of the Artifact Production Club, stood there.
‘Why does this person always appear out of nowhere? No, maybe I didn’t notice him because I was too involved in my work.’
“You’ve made an artifact with bare steel containing no magical power without the help of an enchanter and are calling it a ‘failure’? That’s an insult to countless people who can’t reach that level even after spending all their lives.”
“I didn’t mean it that way. . . . . . . Wait, artifact? Is this an artifact?”
“You’ve gotta be kidding me. You made it yourself, and you can’t even recognize what it is? Even I could tell what power it contains at a single glance.”
Kang Shin-hyuk flinched at those words and instinctively grabbed the spear. At that moment, a small glimpse of information appeared before his eyes, just as when he touched the Godslayer sword.
[Poisonous Steel Spear]
[Special ability – Poison Injection]
It was true. There was a special ability attached to the weapon he made. What a terrifying special ability! Lee Manwoo laughed bitterly at Kang Shin-hyuk, who let go of the spear out of astonishment.
“I’m glad you noticed at last. . . . . . But I have to say, this one’s unique. I can’t feel any magical power on its surface.”
How did this old man find out that a weapon that wasn’t emitting a sense of magical power was in fact an artifact?
As Kang Shin-hyuk stared at him, Lee Manwoo came close and lightly grabbed the spear.
“Anyhow, well done. This could become a good justification for preventing the club’s shutdown.”
“By justification, you mean. . . . . .”
“In late July, the World Rookies Creator Artifact Contest will be hosted in Seoul. If you win a prize there, you won’t be told to close this club anymore.”
“At the end of July. . . . . . I see.”
It was clear that the “progress” Lee Manwoo mentioned at the time of Kang Shin-hyuk’s enrollment into the club meant winning this contest.
As Kang Shin-hyuk nodded in understanding, Lee Manwoo raised a corner of his mouth and said with a mischievous smile.
“Maybe it’s possible. But to think that you could make an artifact so quickly. . . . . .It’s getting more and more fun. Besides, I see why you called it a failure. You didn’t intentionally capture your emotions to transfer them to the weapon; you just let them out in a clumsy way because you couldn’t control them, right?”
“. . . . . .Yes, you’re right.”
“Try to control them in the future. Don’t try to force them out of your mind, just try to control them. Being able to capture your emotions into your weapon is an invaluable talent. There’s nothing you can’t make in the world if you can transfer your emotions as much as you want, at any time, whenever you want.”
It was easy to say, Kang Shin-hyuk thought, but how many trials and errors did he have to go through to actually be able to do so? Lee Manwoo noticed his stiff expression and said after clicking his tongue.
“The attempts alone will keep expanding your horizon, so try as hard as you can without complaining. If I like what you do, I’ll help you out a little.”
“. . . . . . .Yes, sir.”
“Okay, then I’ll take this. I’ll have it in my possession while I register for the contest. . . . . .”
Kang Shin-hyuk stopped Lee Manwoo, who was reaching out to the spear. When Lee Manwoo thinly opened his eyes, Kang Shin-hyuk looked straight at him and answered back.
“This one’s merely a byproduct of my emotions. I’ll make an artifact that shines brightly of my self-directed will, so please wait until then.”
“. . . . . . Ha. That’s quite the arrogance.”
Lee Manwoo’s mouth was sealed. But, unlike his words, he looked satisfied.
“Okay, I’ll wait. You’ll at least have to bring something that’s not as ugly as this one.”
“I’ll make sure to do that.”
Kang collected the completed spear and turned around after bowing to Lee Manwoo.
Every few days since then, he practiced his smithing whenever he had time, but Kang Shin-hyuk was unable to produce defensive artifacts.
The Godslayer sword had not eaten the steel spear.
Translator and Editor Notes:
(1) i.e. A fruit that looks good but tastes bad. A slang term for having a good appearance but having a bad substance/content.
(2) A slang term for “a member of a family or group who is regarded as a disgrace to them.”
Support this novel on NU by adding it to your reading list or by submitting reviews and ratings.