Kargos asked Sungjin with huge eyes.
“Isn’t this… the Dragon’s Heart?”
He could recognize the heart with a single glance. Sungjin answered
“Yes, this is Dragon’s Heart.”
Kargos was unable to take his eyes off the heart as he asked
“Where did you get this?”
Sungjin answered in a matter-of-fact tone.
“From the Dragon’s Lair. The Raid this time was Red Dragon’s lair, didn’t you know?”
But Kargos shrugged as if this was the first he’s heard the news.
“Really? I didn’t know.”
Sungjin tilted his head.
“I thought all the merchants knew where each of the raids took place…?”
“That’s because everyone else gossips.”
“I, well, I only speak to my hammer and anvil.”
Somehow it seemed fitting.
“Ah, I see… Well, anyway… are you able to craft anything with this?”
“Craft… yeah, it’s possible if I give it my all. But what kind of form would you like?”
Sungjin tilted his head again.
“Yes, form. Like Weapons, Armors or accessories. You can pick any kind of weapon. Armor could be made according to which piece you want.”
He picked up the heart which was slightly larger than a man’s fist as he said
“With this much… it’s too little to make a breastplate or armored pants, but I should be able to make most forms of weapons.
Sungjin thought that the best option for now was a defensive item. He decided to ask
“What kind of armor would work best?”
“I think a Shield or a Helm would work best”
Sungjin repeated what he heard.
“Shield or Helm…”
As soon as helm was mentioned Besgoro urgently began to speak.
‘Oy Kei, you aren’t thinking of leaving me behind and making some replacement item, are you? Right? I can cast magic for you as well as increase your attack speed; you know that right? Last time we fought against the dragon, I was the MVP! I hope you didn’t forget…’
Sungjin stopped him
“Okay okay. If you stay quiet, I’ll make something else.”
Kargos raised his eyebrows at Sungjin’s words (which probably sounded like Sungjin was talking to himself).
Sungjin raised both his hands and said
“Ah… it’s nothing.”
Sungjin considered other pieces of armors. Shield was no good since he had to hold his weapons on each hands. Sungjin asked Kargos
“Aren’t gauntlets or boots fine as well?”
Kargos shook his head.
“No, The Dragon’s Heart can only give its full effect as a single unbroken item. If you break it into half, the power drops to a quarter or below.
“What about an accessory?”
“Well you might be able to wear it around like a belt buckle for accessory, but wouldn’t that be too unsightly? If you have something this size hanging from the front of your pants?”
He was right. If something like that was swinging about as he swung his swords, it would be distracting.
“What about shaving off a bit of it?”
Kargos shouted loudly as if Sungjin had said something incredibly offensive.
“Most definitely not!”
Sungjin stared back in surprise.
“I told you earlier that the Dragon’s Heart’s effects depend on its weight. If you shave it off, it’s the same as shaving off its stats.”
Sungjin fell into a dilemma. But he knew that with the amount of material he had, the only piece of armor he could get made which could be worn with equal weight distribution from left to right side of his body was limited to a helm. However, Besgoro was already taking up that spot.
Although Besgoro’s comments were unbearable from time to time, it was undeniable that Besgoro was also incredibly useful.
‘What should I do…’
Sungjin considered his options for a moment before replying
“Then… Shield… but I have never had nor used a shield before. I am more comfortable blocking with swords instead.”
“Then… Why not make another sword?”
Sungjin glanced down at his belt; he already had three swords hanging from it. But Kargos pointed towards the left side where Moon Specter hung alone and said
“Since you have two on the right, shouldn’t you add one more on that side to match the balance?”
“Well… if you consider this from strictly numerical point of view…”
“And this Dragon’s Heart… the effects are… increasing the mana of the wielder.”
Sungjin listened quietly.
“So I’m thinking, why not make a specialized weapon for magic?”
“Specialized for magic?”
“Yes, a sword for magic. From what I see, you have weapons with different specializations. The worn out sword carries the spirit of the lady, the sword stinking of blood is specialized to deal damage. And the last Scimitar is a kind of anti-magic weapon, is it not?”
“How did you…”
“I can tell by looking. Aren’t you switching out your swords depending on the situation already?”
“That… Yes, it’s true.”
“So. You should probably be okay with having one more, right? A sword meant to be used when casting spells. Since your swordsmanship is among the best, you should be able to switch them out easily during a fight, right?”
Sungjin carefully considered his suggestion. He came to the conclusion that it would be okay to have one more sword.
“Then… I’ll make another sword.”
“Yes yes, I think that’s for the best as well.”
“Then… how long would it take to make the sword?”
“It would take… two days. And 10,000 Black Coins.”
“Yes, I understand.”
“Then do you have any other request for me?”
Sungjin put down Artemio and said
“I also want to enhance this one.”
“Really? And enhancement stones? I told you before, but it takes three more stones to upgrade legendary class items.”
Sungjin placed his hand on his cube.
The cube flew closer to him. Sungjin removed three Enhancement Stones from within and handed it over. Kargos looked slightly surprised.
“My, you already gathered three more?”
“A Dragon’s horde contains a large amount of treasure, you know.”
“Ooh… I see I see…”
Kargos received them and said
“Then for these… come back tomorrow. And the cost is 10,000 as always.”
“I guess it doesn’t matter that you’re already working on making a new sword?”
“Yes, since it takes over a day to melt the Dragon’s Heart anyway.”
“Ah, is that so?”
“Yes. So when you come tomorrow, this scimitar… what’s the name again?”
“Yes, I’ll have Artemio’s upgraded version, and the next morning I’ll have the new magic sword ready for you.”
Sungjin bowed at his words.
“I understand. Then I’ll leave it in your capable hands.”
Sungjin headed to bed once he arrived at Ninety Nine Nights.
He had originally planned to discuss with Soldamyr about Aio – ‘Ring of the Great Sage’ (since it would allow Sungjin to use every kind of blue magic, but Sungjin was ignorant as to what spells were available) but once he arrived home, he was too tired and did not feel like discussing it then.
Sungjin lay on the bed as he checked the time.
“Operator, what’s the time?”
He had promised to meet with Serin at 4 pm.
‘I don’t have much time to rest.’
“Please set the alarm for 30 minutes from now.”
Sungjin closed his eyes as soon as the alarm was set. Although he was busy today, he would be able to rest aplenty tomorrow.
‘I should take a day off tomorrow and look for good eateries.’
The Black Market was filled with small cafes and restaurants like ‘Xiu Ran’s First Drop’. Dalupin was able to cook food from any country, but each of the restaurants had their own take on technique and menu, making it worthwhile to try out different places.
‘Now that I think about it… it would be nice… to go somewhere with Nada and Serin too…’
There was no better place for dates than the Black Market, since everything unrelated to combat was free. Due to being forced to fight everyday in raids with his life on the line and having been isolated from other people for so long, he was unable to think of it sooner.
‘Well, it’s not impossible at least. I don’t know how it would actually go…’
Sungjin slipped into sleep while thinking so. And then
[Mr. Hunter, 30 minutes have passed.]
Sungjin stood up after hearing the Operator. His hair was disheveled when he woke up. Sungjin absentmindedly fixed his hair.
He didn’t spend much time worrying about his appearance, but when considering the fact that he was going to meet Serin who was a high-class beauty, he naturally came to feel that he should at least avoid the worst. While he was looking into the mirror and fixing his hair, the Operator gave him an announcement.
[A Chosen One has requested your summon. Will you accept?]
Before 2 seconds passed, Sungjin gave his answer to the Operator.
And he was teleported away.
The place he was summoned to was a cosy cafe with a calm and graceful atmosphere. If ‘First Drop’ was a small cafe meant to down tea quickly before heading out, this place was more intended to be enjoyed leisurely for an hour or two while holding a conversation.
‘I didn’t know a place like this existed…’
While Sungjin was taking a look around, Serin spoke from across the seat.
“This place is good, right? I found it recently while roaming the markets. It has great atmosphere and has great coffee and confectionaries.”
Sungjin nodded as he turned to look at her. It was the first time he was meeting her outside of the raids. He felt awkward. He felt like he had to say something quickly. He began to squeeze his brain for words.
‘Hmm… What did I say when I told her to call me…?’
Sungjin had asked Serin to call him over so he could explain various things to her. Why he chose her, what effects it had. And what was his end goal etcetera.
Sungjin was just about to begin speaking to her when she took the initiative.
“I had a bunch of questions.”
Instead of saying what he was going to, he replied to her.
“Ah ok. Please ask. What did you want to ask?”
Sungjin had thought she would want to ask about the ‘Chosen One’ title. But her question was something entirely outside of his expectations.
“How old are you?”
Sungjin hesitated for a moment, but he decided to answer.
“I am… twenty-seven.”
“Oh really? Then I am one year younger since I am twenty-six.”
“Ah is that so?”
Serin was a world-famous sports star, but Sungjin had never paid much attention to the celebrities. So he had no idea what her age was.
“Yes, so… Can I call you Oppa? From now on?”
“Ah yes… please, by all means”*
“Oppa, please don’t be so formal, I am a year junior.”
She seemed so cold and proper earlier, but for their third meeting, she was being very gentle. Sungjin felt extremely awkward and leaned forward to take a sip of the coffee to fill the gap and give himself time to think.
‘I didn’t think she was this kind of person…’
*So in Korean, there is formal speech (reserved for adults, strangers, and people of respect) and informal speech (with friends, juniors, or people who are socially below you). Sungjin had always spoken with formal speech with everyone. Serin found out that Sungjin was older and asked him to treat her like a junior, which he feels extremely awkward doing. Also, her speech pattern goes from formal/uptight/stiff to increasingly gentle and friendly.
The place marked in the chapter is exactly the LAST sentence Sungjin is allowed to speak formally, and she forces him to address her informally (and treat her like a junior or dongseng). Which is to say, she asked him to treat her like someone close to him.
And in KR, this is significant, because it indicates shift from stranger/acquaintance relationship to that of a budding romance