Waves of pain came striking at me. It was a surgery to cut flesh and cleave bone without anaesthetic. It felt like I would black out if I ever lost focus for even a moment. But I was rather accustomed to pain. Gritting my teeth, I forced my body to be still. Soon after, a hole was made in the crown of my head and stimulated the Hundred Convergences point. Creating a man-made passageway in that point was the purpose of this surgery; preparation to unseal the middle and upper energy centers in order to improve my mana abilities dozens of times more compared to others.
‘Focus. I have to focus.’
But piecing together mana like twisted breadsticks whilst enduring agony was extremely difficulty. An ordinary person would have blacked out the moment bone was cut, and even if that person managed to persevere, their hair would have turned completely white from trauma.
But I had to do it. There was only one chance, because the forcibly opened passageway would close over time. There was no guarantee that it would open again.
The moment that passageway opened, however, I did feel that the circulation of mana had sped up. I twisted, twisted, and further twisted the mana gathered in my lower energy center. It felt as if I were making hand-pulled noodles. The more I pulled, the more mana in helical form increased.
The helical mana woven together like spider webs agitated my lower energy center. As the stimulated mana pressured the lower energy center at the same time the Hundred Convergences point was opened, surprisingly, a ‘path’ was also created there.
‘The lower energy center is simply a storage place for mana.’
The true application of mana began from the linkage of the middle and upper energy centers. I was able to gain enlightenment regarding that structure. The upper energy center of humans would temporarily open at birth, and then it would close over at an extremely fast speed, and that is why a hole for mana to pass through didn’t appear. In the end, the mana that flowed down to the lower energy center would stagnate there.
However, if a passageway is opened by stimulating the Hundred Convergences point, the closed off hole would open just ‘very slightly’. Only mana that was compressed thinly could pass through that hole, and in order for the passed through mana to settle, the mana had to be twisted into a helical form and bound to the heart and brain. It was an extremely delicate operation.
Sweat poured from my entire body like rain.
‘I’ve seen and understood the body structure of a demon lord. What appeared to be hundreds of thousands, at least, of sections of mana in helical form were bound to the body. That’s the reason why their magic power can reach the peak of limits.’
I wanted to grow strong, even more so than I was in the past. To do that I had to change, to transform; soaring past the very limits of humans so that I could be ready for anything that comes my way.
I concentrated, or it would be more accurate to say that I had fallen into a state of nothingness. The pain gradually disappeared. I was in the midst of riding the waves of mana, travelling back and forth between the heart and brain.
‘The Möbius strip. The ambiguity of the beginning and end. And thus eternally cycling…’
Cycle. What does it mean to cycle?
Everything was within a cycle. All of creation, including me. But there was none who knew where that cycle began and ended. Perhaps a supposed god would know? I was creating such a ‘circulation system’ within my body. It was similar to the one a demon lord had, but also different. It was a looping circulation that ran by my very own rules.
‘Domain of infinity.’
Infinity! I had no limits. I set no limits, for I was a single being, and at the same time, not. I created a universe. My body was like a ‘world’ in itself. As I followed along the line of mana twisted into helical forms, I became young and at times, old as well. My body was repeatedly becoming covered in wrinkles instantly, which were then completely erased again. Then at times my body would shrink to completely assume the form of a baby. An unexpected realization came over me, of something beyond simply twisting mana into helical forms. I even went so far as to create a body similar in characteristics to a demon lord. But finally, I returned to my original body. I further established my self identity; my own uniqueness. This was definitely different from from the ‘rebirth’ which is said to be experienced upon breaking through one’s limits. What should this be called…
‘A perfect being.’
The boundaries shattered, and I kept a single exact form. Hansung Oh; my very own being. The skies, people and the earth. If these referred to Heaven Man Earth, the three forms of creation, then I must have explored deeply into the Man aspect. Through countless transformations of the mind and body, I was able to establish and gain enlightenment regarding my ‘self’ as a being.
[Of the Sixth Realms, user has realized the foundation of the ‘Human Realm’.]
[‘Hansung Oh’ title has been obtained.]
[User has glimpsed into the concept of ‘Infinity’.]
[Level 1 information of the ‘Akashic Records’ has been released.]
[Mana reconstruction has been completed.]
[Magic power has increased by ‘15’. Due to the change in mana, the body cells have been invigorated and physical related stats will increase by a small amount.]
[Mana limit has been removed.]
I felt breathless. The influx of information churned the inside of my mind, and at the same time, I began to see what I hadn’t been able to see before. What shouldn’t be visible entered my eyes, and at the end of it all, my consciousness began to slowly float away.
A pair of snake-like eyes greeted me when I opened my eyes again. I was still in the surgery room, and while I felt no pain in particular, I became uplifted immediately after waking.
“How marvelous. How is it that a human was able to carry out the ‘ritual of gods’?”
“Ritual of gods?”
“Before gods become gods, they transform into 666 different forms. You had transformed no more than four times, but it was definitely similar to that ritual.”
I had taken on the form of the past, present, future, and of Uriel Diablo in succession. That alone remained clearly in my memory. I had no idea what this ritual of gods was, but the things I had experienced and become enlightened to was far from the word ‘god’.
I raised my torso and tried feeling my head. The hair which I had definitely shaved had grown back sparsely. My skin had become smoother, and my body felt like it was bursting with energy.
“How much time had passed since I passed out?”
“By the standards of you humans, about 3 seconds must have passed. Since you had lost consciousness, I mean.”
A mere 3 seconds had passed? I had been trapped within the small universe of my own creation. There I walked, ceaselessly, along the path leading to the domain of infinity, and arrived there finally. To think it all happened in 3 seconds.
I turned my gaze around. However, what was even more surprising than that, was the small lumps of light drifting about in my surrounding. They escaped far away when I reached my hand out toward them, but they were definitely the forms of ‘spirits’.
‘I can see…spirits.’
Even if one had a natural born affinity for spirits, it wasn’t possible to see them before contracting. Syria could only hear their voices as well. My affinity with spirits was nil, and yet right now, I could see spirits that I hadn’t even contracted.
ㅡIt’s a strange human.
ㅡHe smells yummy.
ㅡBut I’m scared to go close.
I could hear their voices as well. They were only spirits of water. They flew around avoiding my hands. Although I could see them, it seemed that I hadn’t gained any affinity with spirits. Had my range of perception increased due to the enlightenment regarding my ‘self’?
I shook my head. This phenomenon resulted from my glimpsing the concept of infinity and wandering the universe.
The original dimension information compilation containing all the records of the universe. That’s the general idea I had regarding the Akashic Record. The level 1 of the record was apparently released. I didn’t know what that meant, but I felt that it was related to why I had become able to see spirits, as well as the ‘things that shouldn’t be visible’.
I drew a cross mark in midair, and then…
[Updating User Information.]
Name: Hansung Oh
Occupation: Universal Man
🌑 Hansung Oh (Null, All stats +1 per every 10 base magic power)
🌑 Gnoll Annihilator (Lv5, Con+7)
Skills: Mind’s Eye(Lv9), Dominator(Lv9), Transfer(???), Heartless Soul Stealer Blade(Lv6), Cold Blood(Lv2), Stygian Touch(Lv1)
Equipped Gear: Jörmungandr(Lv2, Int/Mag +5)
[Before and After Comparison]
Str 33 Agi 30 Con 36 Int 25 Mag 44 Potential(151+17/461)
Str 41 Agi 37 Con 43 Int 33 Mag 64 Potential(181+42/461)
I breathed in deeply. My pupils were enlarged, and my breathing became rough.
First of all…a title with my name had appeared. This was a first for me as well, not to mention that it had a null grade. Heartless Soul Stealer Blade was like this. It was an exhausting sword art, and upon reaching the 8th level one would become able to infuse soul within the soul. Upon reaching the 9th level, one would have attained nirvana and would be able to utilize force. In the past I had only managed to learn up to the 9th level. It is said that upon reaching the 10th level one would be able to use the sword of the heart, 11th level the power of all nature, and upon reaching the 12th level one could contain the universe, becoming one with all creation and ascending to divinity.
The null grade was as such. It was at a level of training pure strength as well as deepening understanding. But a null grade title of all things. It was my first time seeing a name as a title, and I had never even heard of a title with a null grade.
‘Magic power is like the scale which measures the level of a being.’
Looking at base stats only, my magic power was already 54. It was in a whole different class compared to the other stats. Thanks to that, all my stat rose by 5 each; truly an unbelievable occurrence. Pouring all efforts into raising a single stat was certainly good. But the best thing would be for all stats rising evenly. Imbalance leads to further imbalance after all. Equipments or titles that raised all stats were extremely rare, however. Individuals at the level of demon lords would barely have just one each. Even a Lv10 title stopped at raising all stats by 8.
‘If I raised magic power to its maximum…’
That would increase all stats by 10. The title effect would shine the more one grew stronger, meaning that I could come to possess ‘status’ surpassing even demon lords upon reaching the pinnacle. What’s more…through the mana reconstruction I had gained a foundation to develop my magic power much faster than any other. What perfect chemistry. I’m sure that the saying, a match made in heaven, was made for moments like this. It was an outcome I had never even imagined. Who knew that the helical mana would grant an enlightenment like this. But I couldn’t simply pass it off as coincidence. My desire is what paved the way. The way to become further complete.
“Hmm moulting is it. Interesting. This is my second time feeling such interest toward a human.”
“Who was the first?”
It was about Icarus again. The human who attempted to rise to the skies but crashed down onto the earth. But it seemed that there was something I didn’t know about. I could sense a slight yearning in Jörmungandr’s voice. I could tell because of the contract.
After mentioning the name, Jörmungandr looked away and changed the subject.
“Now I must change my form also. Walking around in the body of a human was getting tiring.”
At the same time her body began to shrink. Her figure disappearing, leaving behind only her clothes. Finally, a silver snake shot out from between the clothes. The snake slithered up my leg, climbed up my shoulder and stopped moving there.
I turned my gaze, and looked at the doctor.
“What you’ve seen here must remain secret.”
“I under-, understand.”
He was surprised. When I dominated a monster, it would turn almost blindly devoted, but humans were slightly different apparently. But my words definitely affected compelled obedience.
“Go back to your original workplace. I will find you again.”
He was a brain surgeon with authority. His potential wasn’t high, but his value was highly assessed. This proved that stats and potential weren’t the only factors in assessing value.
I changed into my clothes and left the hospital. My business here was finished. My hair growing back was a surprise, but now I won’t be called ‘ahjussi’ just from my appearance. My skin was practically shining, after all.
‘I should set off immediately.’
The gate leading to Rakshasa Mountain was in Daejeon.
I resolved the small matters concerning school and my home, and then immediately packed my things to head toward Daejeon.
An abandoned house, surrounded by mountains. There, somewhere underground, the gate leading to Rakshasa Mountain had opened.
Pant pant pant!
As I arrived there, the 17 gnoll warriors greeted me. They no longer retained their former cute appearances, now resembling wolves, but their puppy-like tendencies were unchanged.
‘Looks like they’ve been eating well even while I was away.’
I had given them the command to arrive here first, to move under the darkness of night and to travel through places with no humans. I was very much glad to see that they had arrived with not a single one missing. I patted all their heads one by one, and turned my gaze.
A blue gate was open making a small noise.
Blue. An other race inhabited the place. Even in the past, I had only seen a dying old man on Rakshasa Mountain, but he must have been of a different race that was not human, but similar to humans.
I gulped. Etaqua was on the other side. The white dragon. One of the children of the mother of wisdom and counsel, Walpurgis.
‘Will he accept me?’
Apparently he could recognize the other by distinguishing the soul, but who knew. He was too young to be able to tell things apart, after all. But it may be a problem if he grew old and became used to the demon lord’s appearance. That’s why I had sent him to Rakshasa Mountain as soon as possible.
I was tense as I slowly moved my feet toward the gate. At the same time,
[Entering ‘Rakshasa Mountain Mid-slope(Lv2~???)’.]
[User is the first to discover this place. 2,000 points has been obtained.]
My body began to be sucked inside the gate.