All of this happened very quickly.
A door appeared in front of Sungchul who was left by himself. Sungchul instinctively knew that the door was connected to the real world, and so he walked towards the door.
‘Should I go back for now? It sounded like I should be able to return here at any time if I have another Letter of God.’
Sungchul had not told Oroboros but he had another Letter of God with him. It was one he had obtained in the catacombs of La Grange. He had been unable to understand very much of it in the past. But now with his Lecter skill, he should be able to decipher a larger portion of what was written in the scroll.
‘I might as well take my time to take a look at it, considering.’
Reading the Letter of God was no easy task. He could feel a considerable drain on stamina and focus whenever he looked at the Letter of God. And this was despite having the Lecter Skill.
Sungchul resolved to take his time to look at it once more as he stepped through the doorway.
A familiar darkness enveloped him. The only difference was that he now no longer had a seal.
Sungchul did not react and waited for a guiding light to appear to lead the way. It did not take long for such a light to show up.
Small round sources of light began to luminate like fireflies here and there and pushed back the darkness.
Sungchul realized that each of those lights contained human figures. Each with different clothes, faces, and posture.
But they all shared one commonality. Every single one was motionless like statues and had their eyes closed.
Only one, the last one to pass by had a young man who looked ahead with his eyes half open. It was Sungchul’s first time seeing this person’s face, but the face seemed familiar somehow.
Sungchul was surrounded by light.
The next thing he noticed was that he was back in the Tower of Recluse in the storage room of the Scroll of Calamity. A book identical to Bertelgia was waiting for him there. The book spoke to him in a very familiar voice with a very unfamiliar tone.
“The great snake of wisdom has recognized you. You can now enter the Immortal World through me. Assuming you have a Letter of God on you to destroy of course.”
Sungchul stared blankly at the book that spoke to him before suddenly asking a question.
“What are you?”
It was a question he would never dare ask in the presence of Bertelgia. He knew that this could cause a great deal of trauma to her. But he was alone at the moment.
Sungchul’s eyes grew menacing as he asked the book once more.
“I have asked, what are you?”
The book trembled slightly.
“I am Bertelgia unit 55.”
“Unit 55…? What’s that?”
“I don’t know. It is the same nature of question as me asking what you are.”
“What do you mean?”
“As you have received your name from your parents at the time you were given the gift of life, I too have been given a name along with life. And the duty entrusted to me is to defend the tower and facilitate those with the mark to travel to the World of the Immortals.”
The book that identified itself as unit 55 smoothly explained even the details he didn’t ask about.
Sungchul fell into silence for a moment. The book was the one that broke the silence.
“But I am somewhat surprised. Didn’t expect anyone outside of the Dragon God clan to show up with the invitation.”
“They were a group that worshipped the snake of wisdom. Even until recently, a few of their last remaining survivors had occasionally come back. But now they have been entirely wiped out as far as I understand.”
A glint flickered in Sungchul’s eyes as he asked a question with certainty.
“Was it a young woman?”
Sungchul had not uttered his thoughts in the presence of the snake of wisdom Oroboros, but he had been thinking of a particular individual when he had heard of this clan.
He had a growing suspicion that the individual, who he no longer so much as want to think about, was a part of the clan that evidently frequented the tower in the World of the Immortals which was inhibited by the snake of wisdom.
The reason was simply that, aside from Sungchul, she was the only one in the world with the title of ‘Lecter’.
“Named Ryze Himerr.”
The book stayed still for a moment before replying calmly.
“I’m sorry to say, but I had not asked for her name. The things that require my attention are the possession of the mark, directions from the snake of wisdom, and enemies of the tower.”
“Is that so? Then what did she look like? Was she young? No, it’s possible she’s no longer youthful. Still, she shouldn’t be too old.”
Sungchul was being uncharacteristically insistent. Though it wasn’t a burning passion, an enthusiasm rarely seen in his usual demeanor was showing through his voice and behavior. Unit 55 stared at Sungchul for a bit before letting out a shallow sigh.
“Unfortunately the person you’re asking about was an ancient wrinkly elder. Very different from the description you’re giving.”
“…Is that so?”
The book trembled lightly before turning towards Sungchul and speaking with a more relaxed voice.
“But she was an interesting character. I liked her quite a bit. So, was there someone searching for a surviving member of the Dragon God clan?”
“Well. Not necessarily. It was just a small curiosity.”
“That’s good then. It’s unfortunate, but the Dragon God clan was hunted down and wiped out by a nation called Ruteginea.”
Sungchul noticed a subtle change in his surroundings as he replied. He turned to look towards the open door. The slave’s motion that had been previously too slow to detect was beginning to pick up pace.
“Seems as though we’re out of time.”
Sungchul said as he turned back towards the book.
The book shook as if to nod.
“I wish we could see each other often. I have almost no opportunity to speak with anyone because my interactions are limited to only those who carry the mark. The only person I’ve spoken to in the past 5 years was to an intruder of the tower. But that’s hardly a conversation.”
It didn’t show on the surface, but a large number of ideas and thoughts were going through his mind. And the dominant thought that gripped him was the feeling that this book was like a real girl.
‘This one, is it different from the one on the Island of Lamentation? They have very different atmosphere about them. This one is just like…”
Sungchul felt a pang of fear once he reached that far in thought. A box that should never be opened…
“Was there any closing statement you would like to make?”
The book asked Sungchul all of a sudden. Sungchul looked down at the ground and blinked a few times as the time slowly returned to normal before looking back up at the book with a determined look.
“…I have met someone like you before.”
There was a large gathering of those wearing colorful clerical robes outside of the tower. They were followers of the God of Order, the Mura sect.
They were using all sorts of tools and gadgets to examine the area. One of them yelled while Sungchul was passing by a group of them.
“Those vile heretics! It wasn’t enough they harmed the holy tower, they sapped the energy of the land as well!”
“This is proof we’re heading to the end of days. It is at times like this that we must redouble our devotions to the God of Order.”
Sungchul returned to Tanguit’s former residence as he listened to the devotees speak with each other. Next to Tanguit’s former residence was Marakia, Baron, and Bertelgia sitting by a campfire and getting along well.
“Hmm? Now you’re out? You took so long we headed back first.”
Bertelgia greeted Sungchul happily.
Sungchul put down a blanket close to the fire to sit down. He fell into a thought for a short while.
“So, what happened in there?”
Bertelgia came up to Sungchul and asked.
Sungchul stared at Bertelgia with a blank look for a moment before reaching out his hands and patting her softly. Bertelgia freaked out and escaped as she shouted in a piercing voice.
“Why are you being so gross all of a sudden?”
“No, it’s nothing.”
Sungchul had a bitter grin.
“Why are you acting like this all of a sudden? Something did happen there, didn’t it?”
Sungchul finally looked at Bertelgia to answer seriously because of her wariness. He shook his head lightly.
“No, not much happened. Except for running into a rather whimsical Lesser God.”
“Those who always felt so far away were actually much closer than I had expected.”
Sungchul let out a shallow sigh before he reached into his Soul Storage to take out the Essence of the Wind Spirit. Marakia who had been nodding off into sleep next to Baron suddenly had his eyes open wide when he saw the orb giving off a green luminescence.
His beak parted slightly.
“Could that be…?”
Marakia flapped his wings and flew closer to Sungchul. Sungchul watched Marakia with narrowed eyes.
Marakia arrived at Sungchul’s side then let out a voice filled with surprise.
“Essence of Spirit?”
“You know of this?” Sungchul asked.
“I’ve only ever seen it in books. In the far distant past, back when half the world was covered in spirits. It was an item that could occasionally be found during those times. According to legend, it permanently improved the user’s power.”
Marakia began to drool. Bertelgia couldn’t just watch this happen and do nothing. She got in Marakia’s way and poked him in the armpit with her corner.
“Piik! What is the meaning of this?”
Bertelgia shrunk and retreated into the safety of Sungchul’s pocket as he shouted in surprise before responding with a mocking tone.
“I was making sure a thieving cat can’t steal the fish.”
“What? A thieving cat? You… measly Living book!”
Marakia was enraged, but the that sat before him was none other than Sungchul Kim himself.
The simple act of calmly looking down upon Marakia was enough to silence the King of the Final Age.
Marakia looked crestfallen as he let his shoulders drop. He returned to his place next to Baron. But it was not like Marakia to give up without doing anything.
“The desire for Rebellion has increased by 20!”
Marakia muttered as if he wanted them to hear something troubling before plopping himself down on the ground.
“What was that about?”
Of course Sungchul and Bertelgia gave his utterance no importance whatsoever.
Sungchul placed the orb with a mystical green glow on top of his hand and brought it close to his face.
The Wind Spirit tickled his face with a pleasant, immaculate wind.
‘This is no ordinary item without a doubt. It is difficult finding anything that contains such an unadulterated collection of energy.’
“Damn, I can’t fight properly because my dexterity is too low!”
Marakia mumbled from the side.
“If only… if my dexterity was just a bit higher… I would be so much more helpful…!”
It was a painfully obvious one-dimensional attempt on his part. But when it comes to opportunities to raise status points, Sungchul had no intentions to ever yield it to anyone.
Sungchul utterly ignored anything Marakia was saying and opened his status screen for once.
Strength 999+ Dexterity 866
Vitality 815 Magic Power 732
Intuition 738 Magic Resistance 742
Resilience 543 Charisma 28
Charisma and Luck were still depressingly low, but all other Stats were noticeably higher.
‘Was it due to the fight against the Lesser God? Resilience has risen by almost 30.’
Even Vitality and Dexterity he had believed was impossible to raise any further had improved slightly.
‘But now, with this…?’
Sungchul looked down at the Essence of the Wind Spirit he held in his hand.
He had chosen this item with the risk that it won’t be able to perform as promised. Understanding that disappointment was proportional to his expectations, he refused to have any faith in the Essence before using it.
He was sufficiently strong even without this, perhaps to the point it was no longer possible to get any stronger.
But it would feel quite good if he were to get noticeably stronger from this.
Sungchul was a professional at getting stronger, and greatly enjoyed the results of his hard work. And it was inevitable that it would be so, considering that cooking and getting stronger were the only two things he had to look forward to during his long days as a vagabond.
Sungchul felt his heart race for the first time in a long while as he gripped the Essence of the Wind Spirit. A message soon appeared.
[Will you use the Essence of the Wind Spirit?]
Answer was an obvious ‘yes’.
“Ah~ Dexterity~ if only my dexterity was higher~”
Marakia began to sing. Sungchul mercilessly shattered Marakia’s desperate hope.
The Essence of the Wind Spirit shattered and mysterious green energy was absorbed into Sungchul.
Marakia watched this happen with his beaks wide with a devastated look before letting his head drop.
[You have absorbed the Essence of the Wind Spirit.]
[Breath of God blesses you.]
Sungchul experienced a clean energy like none other enter him and immediately opened his Status screen once more.
Strength 999+ Dexterity 916
Vitality 815 Magic Power 732
Intuition 738 Magic Resistance 742
Resilience 543 Charisma 28
Sungchul jumped up to his feet and raised his fists. Bertelgia was utterly shocked. She had never seen that man with an emotional expression of a stone ever get so excited or wear such a happy expression.
Now that’s a rare expression from our Sungchul!
Sorry it took us a lot of time for this one. Good news is that the next one will be out on Saturday! As to why it took us this much time, we are currently working toward releasing Mchhs book 3 for kindle and we have another kindle release coming:) All having the awesome illustrations which yall love so much and the editing and formatting you expect from the kindle releases. Will soon share details with everyone!
And Book 2 Demon Realm audiobook is up for preorder today! Release stated for 31 August! Narrated by the amazing Nick Podehl:)
To get the audiobook-