Sungjin was teleported to the Black Market along with a bright pillar of light. It was the most tiring raid he had ever been through.
‘I can’t believe I had to clear the same boss three times…’
Sungjin took his seat in Xiu Ran’s First Drop. The Operator then said to him,
[Congratulations. To all the Hunters who have overcame the 10 man raid Red Dragon’s Lair]
Sungjin sat up and looked at the Cube.
[The next Raid will take place two days from now. Please rest for today and tomorrow and revitalize yourselves.]
‘Ah… that’s right.’
There were two days of rest period before the next raid. In his previous life, he was so out of his mind with trying to survive that he didn’t really pay much attention, but he remembered now that he thought of it. Xiu Ran walked up to Sungjin who settled down on his seat.
“What should I get you, Mr Hunter?”
Sungjin pondered his choices for a moment. Sungjin had been in the sweltering heat of the volcano with free flowing lava until a moment ago. His cheeks were still burning from the heat of the volcano. Sungjin asked her
“Do you have Cola here?”
“Yes, we do.”
“Then Cola Please. With large sized ice.”
“Okay Coming right up”
Xiu Ran brought a glass of Cola filled half way up with blocks of ice. Sungjin greedily gulped it down.
“Haa… much better.”
Drinking an iced drink seem to blow away all the heat and fatigue. Sungjin kept the drink next to him as he begun to inspect the items he had earned this round.
“Operator, give me all the items that I earned this round… except the Fruit of Evolution and the Enhancement stones.”
The Operator soon dumped the items into a large pile. Sungjin glanced over the items and realized
‘Oh yeah… there were… few more things.’
He still had the Dragon Heart and ‘Mu – Pen of Reply’. He couldn’t check the heart due to running into Ariane, and the pen as he was busy saving Serin from trolls and missed the chance.
Sungjin picked the two items out of the pile and placed them separately on the table. The first one he picked up was the Dragon’s Heart. It had the exterior akin to blackened stone, but the surface was smooth. Sungjin picked it up, and the Operator soon displayed the information screen.
Dragon’s Heart – Origin of Mana
Legendary Crafting Material
Heart which supplies the Dragon with an immense amount of mana; it is extremely valuable due to being considered the highest grade mineral.
There are only a few blacksmiths in the world who can work with this material.
Sungjin immediately thought of Kargos when he read the information.
‘Few Blacksmiths or not, he’s the only one in the Black Market so…’
Sungjin placed the item into the cube for now. The only thing remaining was the pen. Ariane who had given him the pen had told him
‘Try using this. I don’t know if this will give you a hint though.’
‘It was fun, Human. I hope that my presents will help you escape your tragic fate.’
Sungjin picked up the pen as he mumbled
“Just how is this supposed to help…”
He couldn’t really understand it. Unlike ‘Aio – Ring of the Great Sage’, it didn’t look like it could be of use in combat. Sungjin lifted up the pen.
Mu – Pen of Reply
Writing Spell (I) – Writes the stored message. Once the message is written, it loses the ability.
A pen used when conveying a message
That is difficult to say out loud.
‘… what the hell, it’s normal grade.’
Sungjin was slightly disappointed. He was fairly sure it wouldn’t be useful in combat, but he was still hoping he was wrong.
‘Well, whatever the case is… I should check the stored message.’
Sungjin picked up one of the Napkins on the table. The napkin in ‘First Drop’ seemed stiff enough to write on with a pen. He put the pen on top of the napkin and said
The pen began to move by itself. Sungjin let go of the pen, and the pen wrote
‘He who searches for answers finds questions…’
But the message was surprisingly familiar.
‘And he who searches for questions finds answers.’
Sungjin read the completed message and thought of the ‘Darker than Black’ Merchant. The man had definitely uttered this from time to time. Sungjin started at the pen. It continued to write.
‘4:30 in the morning, head to the 3rd district, last building on the right, underground.’
Once it was done writing, the pen fell haplessly to its side. It must have completed its function. Sungjin checked the final few words it had written on the napkin. Then he muttered to himself
“What is this…”
This pen was most definitely writing the instructions on how to get to ‘Darker than Black’ Merchant.
‘Well… it really IS one way to change one’s fate…’
Problem was that Sungjin already knew about this particular thing. He remembered a bit about the past.
‘When I first heard about this hidden merchant… it was… one raid before the last one I participated in…’
Memories came flooding back to Sungjin. For a moment he relived the past.
‘I tried going there at night, and it was there.’
‘Really. It even sold items that lets you cross into other dimensions.’
‘Other dimensions? How?’
‘How should I know? He said… something like chasing trolls that reside in the other dimensions?’
‘But there’s only ten of us left already. What’s the point of travelling to another dimension?’
‘Well, that’s true…’
The one who had told Sungjin about it was definitely
It was Spellmaster Ed. Sungjin stared at the napkin as he thought
‘Wait hold on… that means he had already met Ariane… and won? Then why…’
Ariane had said that the pen might be able to help change his fate. And the Pen’s purpose was to show the way to the hidden merchant at Darker than Black. And Sungjin already knew about it. Ariane had said
“…I can’t tell you any more than that… Mother warned me not to get involved with it.”
It meant Sungjin was already aware of the secret Ariane was afraid to utter out loud.
‘How did this happen?’
Sungjin felt deeply puzzled about the situation. But it wasn’t something he could figure out by thinking alone. If he could go back in time to ask Edward himself, it would lead to something, but that was an unrealistic expectation.
He was already dead. And meeting him again was no good since Ed wouldn’t have any memories of the past round.
‘First… I should talk to him in the morning. That merchant… he doesn’t answer everything I ask but… I can at least show him the napkin.’
Sungjin thought as he placed the pen into the cube and the napkin in his pocket. Then, as usual, he began to inspect his items one by one.
These were the items taken from trolls. The total number of trolls hunted today were 8. There was a total of 16 items earned. There were many trolls due to larger party sizes.
Sungjin checked each and every item. Thanks to the chapters progressing, most of the trolls owned mostly heroic tier items.
‘This is 4500 and 5500 coins.’
‘This is 6000 to 8000.’
The number of items increased, but the average value of each item rose as well, so it was even more profitable. Meanwhile
Among the items, Sungjin found a Sword he already owned; another Blood Vengeance.
“When did I pick this up?”
There was a reason why Sungjin didn’t notice it immediately. It was due to the sword’s scabbard. Someone had altered (Kargos offered this service) the color of the scabbard. Only the color had changed; the contents and the specs remained the same as his own Blood Vengeance.
‘If it is the same item… I could use it for upgrades!’
Sungjin thought to himself and so didn’t assign a price for the item. He didn’t know if items could be mixed with enchantment stones in upgrades.
But there was a high chance that Blood Vengeance, which was sold in the regular shop, was owned by other hunters as well (and he had seen someone else carry Blood Vengeance already).
Sungjin put a memo about every item other than Blood Vengeance and placed them into the cube.
He had done this often enough to the point that he was able to generally gauge the worth of an item by just glancing over it. Once he was done pricing all the items he had, he headed towards the auction house.
When he arrived, he simply handed over the list he had written and said
“Please price them as listed.”
He handed over the items en masse.
“Understood, Dear Hunter.”
They bowed deeply towards him. In truth, Sungjin was a major player (since he is the only one able to place more than ten items up for auction per round) in the auction house.
Once he was done taking care of business, Sungjin decided to drop by Kargos’s Smithy before he headed towards Ninety Nine Nights. He wanted to ask about crafting using ‘Dragon’s Heart’ and to use up his ‘Enhancement Stones’. But he remembered something.
‘Now that I think of it…’
Sungjin returned to the Auction house to ask the pigmen
“Hey, are there any Blood Vengeance put up for auction? It’s a Legendary class Sword.”
No two identical items could be purchased in the Black market with the exception of consumables.
But if it was used by another hunter, he could buy it and use it for upgrade purposes. But the Pigmen checked the listing and shook his head.
“There are none, Mr Hunter.”
‘Ah… I see…’
“Should I send a message to you in case one is put up later?”
“That’d be good.”
Sungjin said absentmindedly. But then he thought
‘What if… I used Franz Nada and Serin…?’
Enhancement stones were a very difficult item to obtain. It was not sold anywhere in the market. But on the other hand, Blood Vengeance could be (at least once) purchased by anyone with more than 9800 coins.
Since he already had one from earlier, if he could obtain just two more, he would be able to upgrade it right away. Trading with ‘Chosen One’ would definitely work.
‘So there’s that method.’
Sungjin made a fist and hit his open palm on the other hand. Then he would be able to use his three Enhancement stones from this round on Artemio.
‘That will work.’
Sungjin thought as he made his way towards Kargos’s smithy. Kargos was sitting on a chair smoking through a pipe. He saw Sungjin and said
“Yo, Looking healthy, Dual Wielding Swordsman Hunter. So, how was the upgraded Moon Specter?”
“It was beyond my wildest imagination.”
Moon Specter whispered to him
‘Please let him know I am extremely thankful to him for returning my voice to me.’
Sungjin then said
“Moon Specter is thankful as well.”
Kargos looked slightly bashful as he said
“Yeah well… it was something you commissioned for anyway.”
Sungjin smiled and said
“Anyway, I have work I would like for you to do.”
“Oh? What is it?”
Sungjin took the Dragon Heart out of the cube as he said
“You know what this is, right? Kargos?”
But Sungjin didn’t need any reply. The moment Sungjin had pulled the heart out of the cube, Kargos’s eyes grew wide in surprise.
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