Once all the Chosen Ones returned to their dimensions, Sungjin lay on the bed alone and checked his stats.
“How does my stats look right now?”
Title: Master Hunter
HP: 199100 MP: 275040
Strength: 28486 21912 (+6574)
Dexterity: 29371 22593 (+6778)
Endurance: 19910 15315 (+4595)
Magic Power: 14455 11119 (+3336)
Mind Power: 27504 21157 (+6347)
Unallocated Points: 0
The numbers were too large now. Despite being the owner of these stats, Sungjin had to stare at the screen for a long time before he could decipher what was written there. The status Sungjin was focusing on nowadays was Mind Power.
He was investing much of his points into Mind Power in order to be able to cast a 9th class spell with the Master Hunter title equipped (without putting any more points into Magic Power).
The amount of mana he needed to be able to cast a 9th class spell using the Ring of the Great Sage was 650475. Over six hundred and fifty thousand. Even if Ariane were to provide half the value, he still needed roughly 330,000 mana. Sungjin made quick calculations in his head.
“That means… I still need about 5000 more Mind power.’
Sungjin checked the number of Black Coins he had.
“How many coins do I have left?”
This was the combined total of the Raid reward, the twelve thousand he got from Serin, and the ten thousand he received from Baltren.
‘I still have to pay five thousand for Trollseeker Marbles, crafting the gem needs another thousand. If I spend eighty-one thousand on elixirs, then I will be able to cast 9th class spell by dawn.’
Sungjin lay down on the bed after finishing the calculations. When he first went to the Spell Shop and found out about the monetary and mana cost of 9th class spells, he had thought it would take a minimum of ten Chapters before he would be able to use them.
But thanks to the Elixirs, Ariane, and Ring of the Great Sage, he was able to cast a 9th class spell much earlier than he had anticipated.
‘If I obtain the power to go back in time…No one can hope to defeat me.’
Filled with inflated expectations, Sungjin fell into a deep slumber.
‘Creak, creak creak’
Each step he took on the worn out stairs caused the wooden boards to wail. Sungjin followed the stairs into the darkness, step by step.
The Merchant of Darker than Black greeted him as always, sitting in the dark corner in his usual seat. Sungjin walked up to him and said,
“Recharge the Trollseeker Marbles… and I want Eighty thousand coins worth of Elixirs, enough for sixteen thousand points.”
“Wow, how wealthy you have become.”
Sungjin didn’t react to the Merchant’s exclamation. Seeing that Sungjin didn’t respond, the Merchant also cut the small talk. Reaching into his vest, he pulled out a small bottle.
“Here, take it.”
Sungjin was given the small bottle. Although Sungjin had requested five times the amount as last time, it still seemed to contain exactly the same amount of liquid. Sungjin glanced at the Merchant with his eyes full of suspicion. The Merchant took the hint and said to him
“Ah, the amount isn’t that important. How should I explain… the physical aspect is there just to give the person the impression of ‘I am currently drinking something’, nothing more. Even if you bought a million coin’s worth of Elixirs, I would have given you the same size of bottle.”
Sungjin complained in his mind as he opened the bottle and drank the contents. There was no flavor or scent from the liquid. Sungjin checked his stats right away.
“Operator, how many unallocated points do I have?”
The Elixir worked as promised. Sungjin left the man behind and turned to leave.
The Merchant asked, but Sungjin only glanced back at him, before leaving without another word. He never felt good being around the man. On his way out of Darker than Black, Sungjin allocated his stat points immediately.
“Operator, add three thousand to Strength Dexterity and Endurance. And for the rest, add seven thousand to Mind Power.”
“How much Mana do I have now?”
[You have 366040]
Finally, he was ready to use the 9th class spell, Time Reversal.
‘I’ll test it today.’
Sungjin thought as he walked away. Before he headed to the inn, he dropped by Kargos’s Smithy.
“Mr. Kargos, do you have the items?”
“They are ready.”
Sungjin retrieved the items he had left with the Blacksmith.
“I told you yesterday, but cost of production is one thousand Coins.”
A thousand Coins had become chump change to Sungjin.
Sungjin received the gem. It had always given off a light, but after being properly cut, it now shone brilliantly. Sungjin held the item up.
Lathion – Star of Solitude
Reward for Training(I) – Receive additional 10% stats upon raid completion.
Solitary Training (I) – Enter the next Raid Alone.
Be like the uncatchable wind, the courageous Lion, the incorruptible Lotus. Go alone like the Rhino’s Horn*
The passive ‘Reward for training’ caught his eye.
“Kargos, it had this kind of effects as well?”
“Well… I didn’t mention it in case it encourages people to act irrationally and try it out recklessly.”
“Ah… I see.”
It was all good. The more stats he earns, the more benefit would be distributed to the Chosen Ones. Kargos continued to say
“For it to work, you have to use it before you get transferred into the Raids. Okay?”
Sungjin nodded and left the Smithy, returning to the Ninety Nine Nights. Once he had returned to the lot where the Inn was, Cain stood up.
“Ah, no, Cain, go back to sleep.”
Sungjin had said to him, but then he changed his mind and said,
“Hey, Cain… could you try… attacking me?”
Cain had always obediently executed Sungjin’s commands. But this time, Cain couldn’t understand him. Sungjin used both hands to gesture
“Hey, come and attack me seriously.”
Cain tilted his head one way.
Cain barked twice to show his disapproval. Cain was likely too loyal to be able to carry out this kind of order. Sungjin turned to look at Rajenta. Rajenta was sleeping without a care in the world.
‘…I can’t test it with these guys.’
“Okay, that’s fine. Go back to sleep Cain.”
Sungjin returned to his room on the 2nd floor of Ninety Nine Nights. Then,
“Operator, wake me up in two hours.”
After he had arranged the wake-up time, Sungjin laid down on the bed. He closed his eyes, but he didn’t feel all that sleepy.
[It is 6 o’clock 58 minutes 42 seconds.]
Sungjin woke up to the sound of the Operator’s alarm. While he was under a stream of water in the bath, he addressed the cube again.
“Operator, get me the Staff of the Warlord.”
The original time for breakfast meeting was 8, but the reason why he decided to wake up an hour earlier was because there was something else he wanted to do beforehand.
At his command,
[Please select the target of Inspection.]
Four images of Chosen Ones appeared above the cube.
Serin was practicing her bow against a bale of hay by the stables first thing in the morning.
Baltren was drinking coffee as he was focused on reading through the information sheet (since he didn’t know that Sungjin’s briefing rendered such information obsolete).
Nada was stretching in her bedroom. But her clothing was extremely thin, like the training suit worn by athletes.
Besgoro who had been quiet recently suddenly blurted out in excitement.
Sungjin ignored him and turned away. Franz was still in bed. Sungjin pointed to that image.
“Send me there.”
[Request for Teleportation accepted. 10, 9…]
‘Hey, if you’re going to use this anyway, let’s try a bit earlier. Or slightly later. We might get a glimpse of something nice!’
Sungjin teleported to Franz’s bedroom while listening to Besgoro’s suggestions. Franz continued to sleep, oblivious to the fact that Sungjin had arrived. Sungjin shook him awake.
Franz was startled awake.
His reaction was natural, seeing as Ninety Nine Nights were reserved for a single hunter only; the fact that a hunter would come to wake him up was something he couldn’t anticipate. He stopped groping for the sword he kept close and addressed the man who had woken him up.
“Ah… Mr. Kei.”
He had thought he had accidentally overslept. He glanced around the room.
“Is it already time for the briefing?”
“No, there is still an hour left before the briefing. I just wanted to ask you for a favor, so I came an hour early.”
Sungjin grasped Franz’s shoulder and said,
“Go wash up and meet me in the courtyard. Let’s spar.”
Franz’s eyes widened in surprise.
He soon nodded his head.
“Ok, I understand.”
Sungjin left the bedroom and returned to the lobby. There was a Dalupin in this dimension, identical to the one in his own. He approached Sungjin and asked,
“Mr. Hunter, should I prepare breakfast?”
“No, not yet. I am going to have breakfast later. For now… please get me a glass of apple juice.”
“Understood. Right away.”
Dalupin entered the kitchen. Meanwhile, Sungjin took Soldamyr’s lamp off of his belt and rubbed it. The genie soon emerged.
“Have you called for me, master? It is still early morning. What did you require of me?”
“Mmm I am finally capable of casting 9th level Magic… so I wanted to show you.”
Soldamyr looked happier than Sungjin was at the news. He had spent his whole life researching time reversal magic. Being able to see it first hand must have overjoyed him.
“The Juice is ready.”
Dalupin brought a delicate color of apple juice to Sungjin. The drink had minute pulp floating about as if it had been freshly squeezed just now. Sungjin took a sip and waited for Franz to climb down the stairs. Franz who was fully armed for combat came down to the 1st floor lobby.
“Let us go, Mr. Kei.”
Sungjin headed into the courtyard with him.
Franz pulled his two-handed sword out of the scabbard. Sungjin checked his own fingers. The Ring of the Great Sage was shining as it always had on his finger. Sungjin pulled out the Magic Sword Ariane. Franz said, full of emotion,
“A spar with Mr. Kei. I feel even more nervous than when facing a Hidden Boss.”
Sungjin grinned. This wasn’t truly a sparring match, but an experiment. However, Sungjin had no intentions to correct him and wanted to let him believe what he wanted to believe. Sungjin said to him
“Come at me with everything you’ve got, Franz.”
There is a phrase in Korea ‘Go alone like a Rhino’s horn’. This is an interesting choice of words for two reasons. First of all, there is a famous and very successful book that became a movie and plays by that name. It has been sold steadily since 1993, and is known as a ‘best steady seller’. Even more interesting is the fact that the phrase was originally found in (and the author has confirmed that the name is based on) the oldest Buddhist scriptures, Nikaya.
I have been personally commissioned to translate a portion of Nikaya into English in the past, and have worked with books dealing with the subject. I have a lot of exposure to the contents and ideas of Nikaya and have read through a large portion of the collective work (Nikaya is a collection of many volumes of books), but I won’t delve into it here, since the subject matter is highly Religious and therefore not appropriate for a webnovel website.
The main idea behind the saying is that avoiding becoming dependent on others is a way to avoid suffering because all forms of dependence on an external source will inevitably lead to times when the object of dependence is not available or in shortage. It isn’t preaching avoidance, just preaching against emotional reliance. This phrase adds an element of Zen-like mindfulness to this Star’s nature; a serene, meditative, and contemplative image.
Announcement: We apologize for our lack of communication. We wrote in main character hides his strength chapter that we would be working on ebook alone for this week and so the chapter releases would be infrequent, but we forgot to mention it in a separate post. The ebook in itself is a monumental task especially since we are a small group and has taken up most of our time this past month. We will try to be better at communicating next time to our fanbase regarding chapter releases.