The key was sometimes given to those who reached the domain of incomprehensibility. I had stepped into it two times in the past: once when I defeated the Demon Lord, the other time when I simultaneously hunted three dragons. The highest level treasury I had entered back then was 6, however, the one I got this time was 3.
‘The rarity of a treasury went up in levels of 3.’
They were divided into 3, 6, and 9. The number of those who had entered a treasury even once in their lifetime was extremely low, and even I had never set foot into a level 9 treasury. But the items that were in a level 6 treasury were enough to send thrills down my spine. The place was abound with innumerable equipment, contracts and the like, yet not a single one failed to qualify as ‘legendary’. Although there was a restriction of only taking one item out, just the ‘Cape of Extermination’ that I’d chosen then was worth the equivalent of all of my equipments combined.
There were plenty of rumours that level 9 treasurys contained god-grade items such as Mimir’s Spring Water and Gungnir, although their authenticity couldn’t be confirmed since there were none who actually entered a level 9 treasury.
Just a level 3 treasury was amazing enough; as far as I knew, a mere fifty or so people had entered one in the past. This was honestly the best of rewards that I could earn at present. Even if I did obtain a powerful piece of equipment, an item of that level would most definitely be choosy about its master.
‘What should I take that’ll allow me to prevent disaster?’
The time given to me was 5 years. A monster that I would barely be able to confront in 10 years would make its appearance in the center of Seoul. As such I had to act with two times the haste, and I needed something to help me out of this predicament.
‘Giant’s Halberd, Life-reaping Scythe, Dark Moon Bow, Ivory Shield of the White Silver…’
I recalled the equipment that were in a level 3 Odin’s Treasury. They were amazing items that guaranteed a swift development until at least a total stat of 350, and I would be able to hunt monsters one or two levels higher if I took out even one of them. But even didn’t know everything that was there; that’s just how much items there were. It was only barely possible to take a look around the place once within the time limit.
‘I should avoid limiting my choice to the type of equipment.’
Naturally, I had a wide range of options because I was Universal Man. I could make anything mine as long as I had the effort and desire. Everything, in addition to equipment and skills.
I had to go in first before I could know. It wasn’t a such comfortable space that would let me easily find what I wanted. I had no choice but to trust in my eyes, and luck.
Nodding to myself I turned the key midair.
Together with the sound, a huge door shining with orange light appeared before my eyes like a mirage.
It dragged across the ground before finally opening.
I steadily moved towards the inside of the door.
[User has entered Odin’s Treasury(Lv3).]
[The time limit is 3 days, and only one item may be brought out.]
It was a banquet of treasures, as far as the eye could see. Tens, no, hundreds of thousands of equipments, books and the like, all lined up as if organized by someone.
It was vast, overwhelming, and beautiful.
I had no idea who could have gathered up so many treasures and placed them here. It may have been ‘Odin’ himself, who knew.
Taking a look around my surroundings, there was nothing nearby that wasn’t of excellence.
< Black Iron Helm of Life (value-8,000) >
🌑 Con +1
🌑 0.1 Str increased each time a target defined as an ‘enemy’ is killed. Takes effect a maximum of 2 times.
『A black iron helm that was used by an elite dark knight of a Fallen Empire. Enchanted with black magic.』
< Glove of the Stealthy Spy (value-5,500) >
🌑 Having this equipped increases your favorability with whoever is facing you. A must-have for spies.
🌑 Grants stealthy upon standing still for at least 10 seconds.
『An item that was well used and beloved by high ranking spies. It was highly valued. It is said to have been used by high nobility affected with voyeurism.』
It was all pretty much like the above.
Equipment that raised stats was especially hard to find. A blacksmith had to be at least level 6 to even have a slim chance of creating an equipment with a tiny stat increase. And yet, whether it be a helm that raised a total of 3 stats, or the Glove of the Stealthy Spy which was versatile depending on the usage, these kinds of items were practically all over the place in Odin’s Treasury.
My eyes were on the items that couldn’t be found anywhere. The diamond in the heap.
I casually scanned weapons and the like as I passed by.
The time given to me was a mere 72 hours. I couldn’t rest for even a moment if I wanted to examine everything here within that time. I was tired, exhausted, from escaping the altar not too long ago, but the moment I entered Odin’s Treasury the fatigue disappeared like it was never there before. In fact…
…my heart was racing. It was like the time I was young when I’d just discovered a toy I liked.
I wondered how long I’d been walking like this.
[Mind’s Eye(Lv9) has been activated.]
[Hidden information is being revealed.]
< Greatsword of Dusk >
🌑 Str +3
🌑 Inflicts ‘Bleeding’ effect when used during nightfall.
🌑 Very light(3kg) due to being enchanted with lightweight magic.
🌑🌑 ‘Dusk Hound’ is summoned when the blade is soaked with a large amount of the user’s blood.
I momentarily froze on the spot with my eyes wide open. The reveal of hidden information was unexpected.
‘So I hadn’t known all there was to know…about the uses of Mind’s Eye.’
It was an amazing thing to be able to identify the hidden information of equipment, because even most probing skills weren’t capable of discovering equipment exclusive hidden options.
I stood still as I rubbed my jaw.
That being the case, it wouldn’t be strange if there was a ‘pearl’ here that couldn’t be found by any other hero. The Greatsword of Dusk wasn’t a bad weapon but it was regretfully lacking that 2%. Hound Dusk must be a summon, but if it needed a large amount of blood to summon then it couldn’t be used whenever, while the bleeding effect was a means to hampering an opponent’s healing, so unless you were facing something like a troll with high regenerative abilities, it really wasn’t of much use.
‘There has to be more. The real goods that no one could find.’
I wanted to find those real goods; The Excaliburs and Mjölnirs.
The items in Odin’s Treasury numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Within 72 hours I had to go through them all and pinpoint the ‘authentic goods’. The chances of that happening was as likely as a camel passing through the eye of a needle, but I wouldn’t back down. I would not give up, for ‘effort’ was one of the words I liked the most.
I explored the Treasury. A day had passed, and then two days, but my eyes knew no rest. When drowsiness came over me I forcefully pinched and slapped my own cheeks. I couldn’t lose sight of a single item among these here. I was going to scan them all with my two eyes and discover that pearl among the pebbles.
‘This isn’t it either.’
The Silver Crusader’s Hammer!
This weapon was used in the past by ‘Silver Hammer Orsha’. It was especially effective when used against undead, and a swing of this monstrous hammer would even cause a mountain to yield. Normally I would have definitely went head over heels for it, however…
‘If this is truly a place that’s meant for bestowing a reward, then finding the reward you desire must be yet another trial.’
Trials made this world go round. Those who overcame the trials reaped sweet rewards, while those who suffered defeat would earn a horrifying end. While this place was called Odin’s Treasury, items that weren’t actual treasures were here also.
Daring to disgrace the name of a ‘god’, why would such items amassed here?
Because this was yet another place of a trial. To see through the potential of items and assess your own abilities in order to gain the best result.
60 hours had passed and I was still searching. Weapons that once belonged to dozens of past heroes, skills that could only be found and learnt here, rare elixirs that accelerated development…
I had scoured through a third of the treasury but there was nothing that truly hooked my heart.
Was I expecting too much?
Had I lost sight of myself…as a result of looking too high up?
‘Am I to abandon my greed and compromise?’
I clenched my jaws, because this kind of greed was indeed another one of my ‘desires’ that was part of me. But it wasn’t too long ago that I swore to not give up my desires. Even if my greed lead me to find nothing in the end, then I would simply cope with that result. Only by moving forward with craving desire would I be able to take down ‘Al Araxar’ 5 years later, and not only that, if I were to reach the Colossus then I had to sever the ‘moderation of desire’.
‘Not yet. Not just yet.’
I would continue to search.
I raised my speed.
Tak! Tak! Tadadadak!
My eyes darted around scanning through the mountains of treasures.
[Remaining time: 58 minutes.]
Even as I ran time continued to flow. It was time for me to soon make a choice between all the things I’d seen up until now. But I did not stop searching. Now I was almost delirious. My head was completely empty, and I merely followed my instinct in repeating the process of scanning and rejecting whatever I saw.
In that moment as I was running by, my hand had caught onto something as if drawn to it; like iron to a magnet. It was a figure in the shape of a snake.
It was as if it were alive. I was probably just hearing things, even though I clearly heard it hissing. The snake finally slithered up my hand and wrapped around my shoulders, then once again returned to my right hand and coiled its own body around it.
I hadn’t chosen it.
‘I was chosen.’
I was chosen according to its will. This kind of phenomenon was hardly ever heard of. Weapons that chose their masters were generally known to the likes of holy swords set in lakes, and demon swords placed in locations steeped in darkness. And yet…a snake?
< Jörmungandr (value-???) >
🌑 Int +5
🌑 Mag +5
🌑 Form change influenced by ego
🌑 King of all snakes
🌑 Infinitely growing snake(Lv1, Exp-0)
🌑 The Contractor is free from all ‘Curses of the night’.
『A mythological gigantic snake of Jörmungandr. It was once an existence large enough to coil itself around the world but due to an unknown it was weakened and locked away in ‘Odin’s Treasury’.』
It bit my neck, not even leaving any room for surprise.
In that instant.
[Contract with ‘Jörmungandr’ has been completed.]
My consciousness started rapidly fading away.
When I came to, I found myself laying down outside Odin’s Treasury. Squinting towards the glaringly bright sky, I raised my upper body.
‘Just what was that?’
My body felt heavy all over.
I hastily looked toward my right hand.
A snake was wrapped around my arm. It seemed to be alive back then, but was I imagining it? Its silver scales felt hard to the touch, but it didn’t move like before. Frowning, I tried shaking it and even smacking it with force, but it didn’t budge an inch.
‘For now…I should go back for now.’
My whole body felt swollen like cotton soaked in water while my head felt so hot, like it was on fire. I forced myself to stand, wobbling as I did so. I made my way towards the ‘gate’ I had come through and the gnolls followed after me.
I couldn’t remember how I made it back home, but when I came to my senses I was definitely in front of my house. I felt like if I went to sleep now I wouldn’t wake up until at least a week later. I came this far because I needed a safe ‘place of my own’.
Opening the door to my home, I entered and immediately slumped into my bed.
My body uncontrollably trembled. I growing cold all over as time passed; my teeth chattered and I sweated cold bullets. Drawing up the blankets to the tip of my head, I close my eyes and was immediately overcome by sleep.
At the same time, the snake that was coiled around my whole right arm began moving, wandering about my body.