A VIP as Soon as You Log In - Chapter 6: The Equation of Growth-1
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The last lecture had already begun when Kang Shin-hyuk left the bathroom. He quickly went to the staffroom and requested permission for early sick leave.
As if they have heard about his ‘barbarism’ during his training period, the teachers looked at him with suspicious eyes, but the permission was granted with ease.
[Baek In-ha]: “You are sure there’s no problem, right?”
[Kang Shin-hyuk]: “It’s just that my muscles are a bit tangled after moving around too abruptly. It’ll get better if I take a break.”
[Bake In-ha]: Well, I guess you’d know best about your own conditions. But I gotta say, you were really cool earlier. I’m pretty sure the bald dude and I were the only witnesses. Throwing your spear with perfect timing while dodging all the attacks with concise movements… Kya! As expected of my best friend.”
[Kang Shin-hyuk]: Anyway, since I got my permission for early leave, you should just hang out with yourself today.
After he walked out of the staffroom and texted Baek In-ha, Kang Shin-hyuk began walking back to his dorm room.
For your information: “the bald dude” was referring to the supervising teacher of session 2 of the martial arts techniques training, Gong Joon-Pyo. There was a saying that even one could hate a human, one must not hair a bald head. Yet, Baek In-ha had been so harsh.
-Tsukuyo: The Anvil that I once loved is already gone. That is my final conclusion. So I’ll cut to the chase; I want you to delete his ID.
-Mirang: An inheritance of the memories and knowledge gained from your time in Hero Universe, very interesting. I’ve never heard of such a case because I’ve never died before. How’s your new life going, Anvil?
-Halo: How is that world? . . . . . Is it very dangerous?
“Ah….. There is no end to this. No end.”
In fact, at this very minute, he was receiving whispers from countless friends, Eunah among them.
If there was Eunah, a person who rather frighteningly accepts all aspects of him, there was also someone who could not come to terms with the existence of a revival system, as well as an adventurous type who was inspired by Anvil’s revival to explore the Hero Universe.
“I’ve had enough for today.”
He sent a message to his friends explaining how he was tired by having just regained his memories and subsequently blocked all of them.
By circling the message around to his friends, he extinguished the fire that needed immediate attention. There were still a couple of problems remaining, but none of them were serious enough to deter him from participating in his community activities.
Even though he eagerly wanted to learn more about the Hero Universe, he wanted to focus on a single issue more than anything.
He tightly clenched his fists while thinking back to his training earlier. He could still feel the exhilaration he felt after beating down Do Woo-jin.
Even though trait [Awakened Fledgling Dragon] and skill [Fanged Dragon Dance] were already useful enough, the most surprising change was the physical enhancement of his body. Awaken the hidden strength of the weapon, and extract away your hidden potential. With that alone, you could unveil infinite possibilities!
“I instantly became stronger. If I grow my spirit power, I can grow even stronger!”
He was now able to defeat those who wielded mana. The same people who thought little of him and looked down on him!
For someone like Kang Shin-hyuk, who spent his entire life suppressing himself, the experience he had today was equivalent to an upheaval that turned his life upside down. At this point, it would be difficult to suppress his excitement.
[Please don’t exhaust yourself.]
“I know. Thank you for worrying about me.”
After hearing the Administrator’s message, Kang Shin-hyuk tried to relax. He countlessly murmured to himself that nothing good comes from acting hastily and comforted his ever-growing impatience. And before he knew it, he arrived at his dormitory.
[What will you do about metallurgy?]
“Of course, I would have to train myself. But physical training is also important. I first want to completely master what I learned today and then think about the next step. I want to try the sword dance as soon as possible as well.”
He had instinctively learned from today’s battle with Do Woo-jin that the spirit power wielded by blacksmiths is a bit different from the spirit power wielded by warriors.
As the Administrator advised him, while it is important to pursue what you used to be, you must not let go of the current you.
“All right, let’s go to the training room.”
The male dormitory of knight majors contained a large training facility of enormous scale. While the individual training facilities are available as long as you sign up for them every day, since Kang shin-hyuk was diligently training each morning and signing up ahead of time, he was practically living at the training facility.
“Actually–let’s get changed and bring the Godslayer sword.”
As he learned during today’s sparring session while infusing spirit power into his training-purpose long spear. If the weapon’s level is low and its origin is insignificant, the effect of spirit power will also be diminished.
While that may change if his abilities are enhanced, now wasn’t the time to figure that out. In order to effectively train his spirit power, it would be most effective to use the Godslayer sword, the weapon with the greatest hidden strength, despite his level being a mere D-rank.
“You’re early, student Kang Shin-hyuk.”
“Hello, Mr. Bolten. I went on sick leave since I wasn’t feeling well after the sparring session.”
“Hm, All right. Since you aren’t the type to skip classes.”
As he changed to comfortable clothes in his room and brought the Godslayer sword with him, Kang Shin-hyuk bumped into the housemaster and bowed his head politely.
Since the housemaster of Shinyoung academy was responsible for resolving conflicts happening between students, the selected person was often incredibly strong. This was especially the case for Emil Bolten, the British housemaster of the knight majors’ male dormitory –the largest dorm of the academy– who, during his prime days, was a superhuman who ranked within the top 300.
Putting that aside, because his looks are that of a good-looking middle-aged Westerner, I always felt something is out of place seeing him speak Korean fluently. Though I would have to eventually get used to that now that I’m attending Shinyoung.
“Hm? That sword… Do you mind if I take a look at it?”
On top of his superhuman ranking, Emil Bolten was famous for possessing a supernatural prowess of martial arts. Since Bolten was one of the few people who treated Kang Shin-hyuk on equal terms with others despite his deficiency in mana, Kang Shin-hyuk gladly handed over his sword to him.
Emil Bolten let out an exclamation after carefully studying the sword.
“It certainly is not an artifact containing any special type of capacity, but it certainly was crafted by a skillful blacksmith using quality materials. And if my guess is correct… Did student Kang Shin-hyuk sharpen the edge himself?
“Yes. I’m still clumsy, but…….”
“I don’t think you’re clumsy at all.”
Bolten was noticeably impressed as he was feeling the sword’s deftly sharpened edge on his hands.
“This is the work of a hand that understands weapons deeply well. People who have gone through serious training are surely different.”
“Thank you very much.”
“A good weapon has gone into the hands of the right person. I look forward to seeing your development.”
Emil Bolten politely handed back his sword and waved him goodbye.
Kang Shin-hyuk headed to the training room while trying to refrain from feeling full of himself for receiving praise by Emil Bolten, a figure revered by most of the students wielding some type of a weapon. But then suddenly, a thought came to his mind.
“Wait, so even someone as strong as Emil Bolten can’t recognize the true worth of this sword?”
[The true form of the Godslayer sword will make its appearance when the user’s spirit power is released. Those who are not able to properly wield their spirit power will not be able to properly recognize the Godslayer sword.]
After walking while murmuring “spirit power” to himself, he arrived at the training facility without noticing. He entered the individual training room he had reserved for himself and sat comfortably at the center.
“First, let me try to raise my physical stats.”
Although he gained a rather unseemly appearance for rapidly consuming mana, its temporary explosiveness required no mentioning. To avoid showing such an indecent look, he had to grow adept at enhancing his physical stats through spiritual power.
“Still, I have to do better than how I did in my sparring match with Do Woo-jin.”
Back then, Kang Shin-hyuk didn’t have any spare time to think things over. He was so thoroughly captured by his thought to dodge Doo Woo-jin’s mana-powered attack that he forcefully extracted half of his spirit power to enhance his physical abilities. Kang Shin-hyuk well understood that that is not the right way to go.
“Slowly, and calmly. Let me also take out an Eiren Jelly…”
With the help of the Administrator, he opened his inventory and brought one of the 199 Eiren Jellies into the real world. He placed the wrapped jelly besides him so he can reach it at any time, and quietly closed his eyes.
He then focused on his origin.
“Spirit power is the power to help understand one’s own origin. The power to help you perceive every aspect of yourself.”
He learned from his sparring match with Do Woo-jin. The essence of spirit power lay in setting up a deep connection with the wielder and understanding it. The physical enhancement was merely a by-product rather than the primary goal.
Perhaps as the aftermath of training with various kinds of objects, he was luckily able to perceive that fact from the very beginning. Which prevented an endless array of possible trial-and-error developments and instead led him straight to the right path. It was the overwhelming advantage of possessing memories from a past life.
“To be able to see myself as I am. To merely affirm and nothing else…let’s start by first discovering myself.”
Of course, it was not easy. Meditation was an unfamiliar task for someone who normally enjoyed physical training.
After a long time had passed, however, he was able to concentrate on his inner self so intently that he completely blocked out the squawking of crows coming from the training room’s window. It was at that moment:
The part of himself that was completely hidden in darkness up until that moment was finally emitting some light while he was consuming spirit power.
During his sparring match with Do Woo-jin, the situation was so urgent that he ended up pouring his spirit power into enhancing his physical body, but he was now able to observe his ego without going overboard.
“……I found it.”
His inner self was like a dark, narrow cave.
It was as if he was seeing the exact manifestation of the unstable heart within him that was the product of constantly ignoring the contemptible stares from others and enduring it all by himself.
But at the center of it, Kang Shin-hyuk was able to find something that was faintly emitting light in its solitude. Weak, but a firmly determined ego of himself.
“HaHa. That looks really shabby compared to the Godslayer sword.”
He couldn’t help but laugh at his faint ego that was shaking in all directions.
It was weak. Too weak. It felt different from when he was looking at his status. It was as if he was standing face-to-face with the true form of the concept of nakedness.
But more than embarrassed, he was satisfied. When you acknowledge the insignificance of yourself, all that’s left to do is to move forward.
As he thought that, the faint light surprisingly grew in brightness in response to him . . . . . . At least that’s what he felt.
[Synchronization is slightly accelerating. Assimilation rate is 0.4%.]
[Your spirit power has been upgraded to an E- Rank.]
A message popped up in front of him. Not only has his synchronization accelerated, but his spirit power has entered an E- Rank as well!
The sudden brightening of his ego was probably due to that change. At that very moment, he felt that he had made a distinct step forward.
[Eat your jelly!]
Since he had been in such an enlightened state of mind he hadn’t noticed that his spirit power had plummeted. Kang Shin-hyuk thanked the administrator’s timely message and swallowed the jelly. As he was engrossed in the unwavering, marvelous scent and taste of the jelly no matter how many times he had eaten it, he felt his spirit power steadily increasing.
Kang Shin-hyuk: “Having upgraded to E- Rank, I can now feel my spirit power more directly.”
Ordinarily, one had to devote a superhuman-level of concentration to extract and wield spiritual power, but even at the lowest level, the upgrade to an E rank allowed him to feel and extract his spirit power more naturally than before.
Surely he will be able to wield spirit power even more naturally as he grows further and further. Kang Shin-hyuk let out a bright smile as he physically felt his growth in his body.
“All right, what’s next.”
After he confirmed the recovery of his spirit power, he gripped the sword and stood. He felt a little nervous. After all, he was about to witness the sword dance through Godslayer sword once again.
“I hope I don’t faint this time.”
He was afraid of a headache, but could no longer hold back. He tightly clenched his teeth and released his spiritual power with the hand firmly gripping the sword. Kang Shin-hyuk intended to more deeply understand and connect to the Godslayer sword by gently infusing his spirit power.
Although the task was not easy since the Godslayer sword wasn’t in the same league as a training-purpose long spear. He remembered back to the moments of sharpening its edge and the sword opened its heart to him in response.
Just like before, the sword dance completely took control of his mind.
There was no sound. No change. Only a shadow performing a sword dance with the Godslayer sword gripped in its hand was present in a world covered in white.
Just watching its movements gave him a headache and his body broke out in cold sweat. He felt nauseous, but he endured it all.
Tightly clenching his teeth to sustain the headache that was on the verge of knocking him out, he slowly moved his body. He began to dance very, very slowly in rhythm to the image that was flowing out of the Godslayer sword.
“Whook, Whoo, Whoooo….”
The spirit power released from Kang Shin-hyuk completely filled the Godslayer sword. In response, the Godslayer sword emitted a stream of light by faintly vibrating.
But no one could describe his movements as beautiful, even as empty words. Unable to obtain knowledge that was beyond his scope, he could not infuse significant meaning in his movements and the tip of the sword began to mellow.
It was at that moment.
[Due to your trait Awakened Fledgling Dragon(A+), you will now be able to more easily accept sword techniques of superhuman territory.]
Kang Shin-hyuk’s trait, ‘Awakened Fledgling Dragon’, was a trait that allowed him to rapidly learn all kinds of martial arts techniques.
Although the difficulty of those martial arts was on a different level from those found on earth, the sword dance infused in the Godslayer sword was also part of the trait’s eligible targets!
But the consequence of carving that knowledge into his body had to be endured by his mind. Because he was absorbing martial arts techniques that were unmatched to his current level.
If he went too overboard, there was a possibility of his mind collapsing, so he paused the process of understanding the martial arts techniques on the verge of leaving permanent damages on his brain. As if to shake off the headache, he frantically continued his sword dance.
At a certain moment, a mark resembling a worm crawling upwards to the tip appeared on the Godslayer sword, but he was so absorbed in the sword dance that it went unnoticed.
How much longer did it last? A message appeared in front of Kan Shin-hyuk as he sensed his spiritual power diminish and completely cut off his connection with the Godslayer sword.
[Skill Fanged Dragon Dance(S-)’s level has been upgraded to a C+ Rank.]
The result was splendid, the skill ‘Fanged Dragon Dance’ had leveled up, it had previously been at C Rank, but now it had been upgraded to C+ Rank!
For your information, ‘Fanged Dragon Dance’ was an S- rank skill that evolved from ‘Eighteen Techniques’, a skill Kang Shin-hyuk previously had. The S- rank referred to the skill’s rarity and its hidden strength, while the C+ referred to the skill’s current proficiency level.
After he completely stopped his movements, Kang Shin-hyuk used his free hand to grasp his head as if to tear it apart. He had never felt such an extent of pain before while learning martial arts through his trait.
But that also proved that the sword dance, infused in the Godslayer sword was that exceptional. Despite having only gained a glimpse of it, his understanding of the martial arts allowed him to naturally know its greatness. But it hurt! His head felt so entangled that it seemed as if it were going to explode!
“I can’t do any more of this.”
He felt that to resume understanding of sword dance, he first had to completely master the understanding he already attained. Kang Shin-hyuk instinctively came to that conclusion.
He even felt that by successfully using this opportunity at hand, he might be able to upgrade Fanged Dragon Dance one level further.
[Dear member, if you’re under pain due to a headache, I want to make a suggestion.]
“Is there an effective headache pill listed on the trade board or something?”
[The suggestion is to sharpen the sword’s edge with a whetstone.]
He didn’t know how to respond to the administrator’s rather odd message, but after realizing that any attempt to continue training that day would be in vain, he nodded his head.
“I guess I’ll sharpen the edge, then.”
[A 10HP bonus to our dear member for humbly accepting the administrator’s suggestion!]
He returned to his room and began sharpening the Godslayer sword’s edge as instructed. Now relaxed, he was now able to objectively review himself during the day and learn from his mistakes, while having improved on his ability to wield spiritual power.
The warrior who was excited by his new power had now become a blacksmith again.
The days where the current life and the past life would overlap harmoniously still seemed far into the future.
Translator and Editor Notes:
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