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I wake up and check my smart phone. It is exactly 11. Not a minute’s difference.
I look around and my studio basement’s familiar atmosphere comes into view.
Perhaps this is because I had narrowly escaped death. How could I be so happy returning to a world that I thought was so tedious and mundane?
‘Wait. Was that all a dream?’
The suspicion surges in. perhaps it was all just a very vivid dog* dream.
There is one easy way to verify if that was a dream or real.
The board appears.
Name: Hyun-Ho Kim
Mission: Rest until the next exam
Time Limit: 11 days
You may receive your karma prize. To receive your karma prize, retrieve your board and say ‘karma prize.’
So it wasn’t a dream. I was hopeful that it was.
After the 11 days I have been given, I suppose I will be dragged back to the world of the Arena and fight to the death.
The red ape was a weak bastard so somehow, I was able to defeat him. But there is no telling what kind of monster will appear in the second exam.
I have to receive the karma prize, whether that is a good weapon or skill, so that I can become stronger.
As I said it, the letters on the board began to wiggle and change.
-Select the prize you wish obtain.
- Skill – Gain a capability.
- Item – Weapon, shield, goods, etc.
- Other – Turn an object from the real world into an item. The object that is turned into an item can be carried in with you to the exam.
Residual karma: 500
At my words, the letters on the board change once more.
-Select the category of skill that you wish to choose.
- Main skill – Basic skills that the examinee can use are needed for the completion of the exam. This is the most important skill in determining the examinee’s chances of passing the exam. Only one can be chosen. According to your skill level, the main skills that are available have been chosen.
- Secondary skill – Aside from the main skill, the secondary skill aids the examinee as another skill and any can be chosen as long as you follow the conditions.
Residual karma: 500.
So it looks like I can only get 1 main skill and multiple secondary skills.
In simple terms, one major and multiple minors.
‘So in that case, the most important thing is the main skill.’
I decide to choose my main skill first.
-There are two main skills that meet examinee’s Hyun-Ho Kim’s level. Please select your desired main skill.
- Aura control: You control your aura and surpass the limits of your mortal self.
*Entry – level 1: Ability to control your internal aura (-400).
- Spirit Summoning: Contract with a spirit and use its strength. Engage with a spirit and use its natural strength.
*Spirits available for selection – Fire, Wind.
*Entry level 1: You may use the above spirit for two hours. Each time you use its powers, the time decreases (-400).
Residual karma: 500
Aura control and spirit summoning…after reading the description, I kind of get an idea of what these skills are.
The aura control is similar to the eastern idea of gathering chi in the dantian. On the other hand, the spirit summoning sounds like I call upon an element and have it fight for me.
‘The summoning sounds better.’
Let’s think about this. With the aura control, I have to gather the aura and do the fighting myself. But with the summons, I can have it fight for me. Simply put, the latter is the safer method!
Hmm…anyway that (-400) written there probably means it’s gonna cost 400 karma. Currently, I have 500 karma. So if I do the summoning entry level 1, I’ll be left with 100 karma.
‘What should I do with the leftover karma?’
After a brief moment, I speak to the board.
“Show me all the weapons that can be gained with 100 karma.”
And once again, the letters on the board change.
The AI on this board is killer.
-Please select the category weapon.
- Mace/Hammer (Literally says blunt object)
- Throwing knives (literally says hidden weapon)
- Bow and arrow
Residual karma: 500
Good. I will become a great swordsman!
…that thought about selecting number 1 is definitely not happening.
Are they crazy? Do they think this is some fantasy novel?
Clearly, the long distance weapon is the safe and wise choice. But the long distance weapon number 5 seems difficult to use unless you’re a trained expert.
Isn’t there anything like a gun? I’m confident in my marksmanship. When I was in the army, I even gained a lot of vacation days by being a good marksman.
“Number 6, other.”
I think maybe and I select number 6.
-This category is for other weapons that can be selected with 100 karma. Please select the weapon.
Underneath was a large list of all kinds of weapons. Sling, knuckles, poison dart. All difficult weapons to use. I skim through the list and on the 12th item, my eyes stop.
“It has it!”
Surprisingly, there is a gun.
- Magic Gun
Place the bullet in the chamber. After placement, cock the weapon, and a powerful magic bullet will shoot out. Usage is easy and simple. (-100)
*Effective distance: 60 meters
*Maximum Range: 150 meters
*Comes with 100 bullets and cartridge
A gun that is worth exactly 100 karma.
A weapon with very clear benefits.
However, it does seem like it would be inconvenient that every time I need to shoot, I have to place a bullet one by one each time.
The distance is short, and because the bullets are like round marbles, it seems like the penetrating power will be weak.
I do like that it says the usage is simple and easy. Also, because it doesn’t use gunpowder, it’ll be safer and quieter.
“Ok. I’m gonna do this one for the weapon.”
The only weapon that I can use is a gun anyway. Now I’m wondering how to use the 500.
Firm in my decision, I say to the board,
“I will purchase the Spirit Summon Level 1 and The Magic Gun.”
-You have selected Spirit Summon Level 1. Please select the spirit you wish to summon.
- The fire spirit: Kasa
- The wind spirit: Sylph
In shooting, there is nothing as important as wind. I’m thinking that the wind spirit and a gun will be a good combination.
Suddenly, a light flows out from the board. It’s so bright that I have to cover my face with my hands.
A short while later, the light disappears and the letters on the board have changed.
-You have acquired Main Skill Entry Level 1. You can review all the skills that you have acquired by saying “skill review.”
-You have acquired the magic gun. If you say “weapon” it will retrieve your weapon. If you say “weapon cancel” your weapon will disappear.
-You have acquired the bullet cartridge. If you say “equip,” your tool will be retrieved. If you say “tool cancel” your tool will disappear.
-Residual karma: 0
Skill review, weapon, weapon cancel, equip, tool cancel…….
I carefully read the orders on the board and decide to give them a try, one by one.
As I say it, new words immediately appear on the board.
-Spirit Summon (Main Skill): You are retrieving the low level wind spirit, Sylph. If you say “Sylph” it will be retrieved.
*Entry level 1: Retrieval period 2 hours
When you use Sylph’s power, the time limit remaining is reduced.
(TN: Literally says: ‘Use Sylph’s power and it will use time.’ So what I assume it means is that the more power Sylph uses, the less time it can be summoned.)
A stream of wind swooshes in and wraps around my face once before passing by.
A tiny whirlwind blows in and creates an opaque shape. The wind spirit, Sylph, has appeared.
Sylph’s appearance is…
I’m completely surprised.
A tiny kitten, in its opaque appearance, was meowing and gave me a friendly look.
It delicately jumped onto my shoulder and rubs its face on my cheek.
Oh, it’s extremely cute.
“Nice to meet you”
It seems Sylph is also pleased to meet me.
As I pet it, it stars to purr and enjoy itself.
Alright. Now that I’ve retrieved the spirit, let’s try the item.
I say the two orders back to back.
In my right hand was the magic gun and my hip was wrapped with a leather bandolier* with the bullet cartridge attached to it.
(TN: An ammo belt like you would see in an old west cowboy movie)
Interesting. That it automatically buckles onto me just with spoken words.
I open the bullet cartridge and tiny lead marbles are densely packed inside. These must be the lead bullets.
The magic gun is about a meter in length and made of wood. It’s light so it should be easy to carry around.
“Weapon cancel. Tool cancel.”
The magic gun and the bullet belt disappear.
And so I’ve used all my 500 karma and received my prizes.
I’ll find out if these were good choices at the next exam.
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