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In my hands, a small and round flame appeared.
Rare to see, there was a look of surprise on the eldest mother’s face.
And even amongst the elves, she who has lived the longest, this was a first for her as well.
Then again, this is a skill that only I have, so that made sense.
“It is called the flame of life. I think that I am the only one in the world that can create it.”
The eldest mother, with a face full of surprise, extended her hand to me.
“Hold on one moment, can you show that to me?”
I handed the flame of life to her.
The eldest mother carefully received it and shivered as she stared at it.
“It holds life force, from the energy of nature. It is as you call it, a flame of life! How, how did you create this?”
“Here, show me as well!”
“We want to see it too!”
The mothers swarmed in in angst, all eager to get a better glimpse at this flame of life.
Good to hear euphemisms exploded from here and there.
I looked on at the spectacle with a satisfied expression.
Then, the eldest mother asked me in a shaking voice.
“Would you be able to teach us how you made this?”
“I am sorry. I want to teach you, but I myself do not know how I am able to create these.”
“Do you have any clues as to how?”
“It feels kind of like a mix of the power of spirits and a healing potion. I actually don’t know. It’s an ability that just came to me one day…”
I can’t really tell them it was through a skill synthesis now, can I.
The eldest mother was utterly disappointed.
“The power of the spirits and healing potions? I am not sure that is all it would take. This is indeed a happening that is a miracle.”
I believed it.
Because this special skill synthesis is the miracle that changed my life too.
“Would we be able to heal the Tree of Life with this?”
“But isn’t it too small?”
“There is no way this is enough.”
The mothers get into a heated discussion.
I cleared it up.
“I can only make one a day. If that would be of help, while I am here, I will make one every day and give it to you.”
“What do you mean one a day.”
“Ah, but this is too small!”
“It would have been good if you could make this a little bigger!”
“You guys. It is a great thing already that we have found a way to treat the Tree of Life.”
Everyone is busy chattering when the eldest mother clapped her hands and silenced them all.
“It is important how we use this flame of life that can only be made once a day. Shall we use it to heal the sick Tree of Life, or rather, to grow a tree that has the possibility of growing into a Tree of Life.”
“Ah, that’s a good point…!”
“It is definitely too small a portion to use for the Tree of Life. But it is plenty in growing a small tree into the Tree of Life!”
“We have to use it for the Tree of Life!”
“And when would we finish healing it with such tiny flames?”
“If we try to heal the Tree of Life with these tiny things it will take too long.”
“Then, turning a small tree into the Tree of Life, does that take any less?”
It’s a heated discussion scene.
The one that quieted them all is the eldest mother.
She asked me.
“How long can you stay here?”
“If possible, I will stay a while. At the moment, I don’t have any pressing plans.”
“We wish for you to stay here as long as possible. Actually, we wish you would live with us forever. You have passed being a friend, now you are the same as family.”
The order of our relationship has jumped a few steps.
But even so, I cannot stay forever with the elves.
Maybe I could if the exam was to live with the elves here.
“How about this. We will use 28 days’ worth of flames of life to heal it. Depending on the results, if there is no effect, we will use it to a tree that has its potential.”
“That sounds good.”
The eldest mother nodded her head.
“Yes, if it doesn’t work, on to the second-best option.”
“Why didn’t we think of this? First, let’s try it out.”
“This must be why our husbands complain about us!”
“Ho, ho, ho!”
These ladies are boisterous.
To think, this society is matriarchal and goes through decisions by way of such banter.
“There he is!”
A group of child elves are running towards me.
“Are you refilled again? Summon your spirits!”
“I’m going to play with the puppy and the kitty!”
The important meeting was about to be thrown into chaos.
“Oh, the children are here!”
“How could anyone resist!”
“Anyhow, thank goodness the decision has been made already.”
The mothers quieted down.
The force that influenced the mothers who lead this society is not even their husbands, but the children.
I am surrounded on all sides by elf children then the eldest mother quietly took the flame of life and left.
The elf society is indeed fresh and fun.
From that day forward, I created one flame of life every day.
In the beginning, the eldest mother came to retrieve it every morning, but after four days, this is what she said.
“You are now our family and you have a right to approach the Tree of Life now.”
This ajumma, she finds it annoying to come by every day.
From then on, I take the flame of life to the tree myself and blow it into it.
It is ever interesting to see the tiny flame seep and disappear into the large tree.
‘I don’t know that this will be enough.’
The Tree of Life is so great its top looks the sky itself.
Mesmerized by its beauty, I drew the tiny flame into my palm.
As if I am trying to reach that sky with palm, I repeat this all every day.
‘Well, I’m sure something will happen.’
I have faith and repeat again and again.
The core of religious precepts.
That is the backing of my faith.
First, after losing all my friends and being thrown into crisis, a great special skill called the skill synthesis was given to me.
Second, I gained the flame of life, and chairman Park Jin-seong, ailing from a terminal illness, came to find me.
Third, thanks to chairman Park Jin-seong, I gained the help of Odin, and with the help of the soldiers he sends, I will defeat the silver clan that is preying on the elves.
Fourth, because the elves have been anxious over the sick Tree of Life, I was able to approach because of my flame of life.
Look at how perfectly everything has lined up!
I am making way just as the higher powers want me to.
There is always a hint in every exam.
Even if I am not told what the hint is, if I think carefully, there is always a hint.
That’s because that hint is always a commandment of the gods.
Now I finally feel like a real examinee. I feel like I might now what this exam is about.
‘Whether this helps the Tree of Life or not, I can tell by the exam evaluation.
When the mission time is over, I will clear the 4th exam. And according to the results, I will receive karma.
Depending on how much karma I receive, I can tell how well I have done in the exam.
If there was an effect, I will receive lots of karma, and if this was all for naught, I will surely receive less karma.
I spend the remaining exam time leisurely.
Without the threat to my life and spending the exam is peace. I wonder if this is okay.
I am not worried about the lycanthrope silver clan’s threats.
First of all, Odin promised to defeat them with his army, and even without them, the male elves will put up a good fight.
In this village of a little over 100 of them, all male elves are experts with a bow and spirit summons.
Additionally, they move without making a sound in mountain and forest, able hunters.
Having been made a part of their family, I receive their protection and plan to spend my days pleasurably.
Of course, I is not always relaxing.
“Human hyung, where are you?”
Aww damn, the beings that the leaders are even afraid of have appeared.
I quickly hide myself.
“Let’s find him!”
“He doesn’t stand a chance!”
The young elves one by one summon their spirits. In an instant, tens of spirit animals close in on me.
Every which variation of sylph and other spirits pull me out of my hiding place.
“Human oppa, just give up.”
“On the brown mountain, you cannot escape our gaze, human hyung.”
My spirits are a given, but now they want to play with me too. I taught them rock-paper-scissors and horse pilingand they went crazy for them.
“Teach us games today too!”
“The girls said they don’t like horse piling!”
“It hurts my back!”
After pondering carefully, I pick up five small and round pebbles. I place them in my palm and show them jacks (gong-gi).
What boy bastard plays gong-gi?
I have a noona and a younger sister so I got good at it, so what?!
“What is that!”
“That looks fun!”
“So cool. Human oppa is the best.”
The young elves go crazy and begin to play.
They have Kasa fetch them pebbles or use Sylph to shave the rocks smaller and rounder. Scary children…
The elf children become engrossed in playing gong-gi.
Soon, the grown-up girls that had just been glancing at the children also follow suit and play.
According to what I have heard, the young men that have gone out to scout are playing horse piling.
I have also heard the rumor that after the introduction of rock-paper-scissors, the mothers’ meetings have progressed much faster. If that is the truth, the future of the elves really worries me.
‘I should never teach them gambling.’
No matter what I teach them, it worries me how consumed by it they get.
And so, my exam progresses, every day as enjoyable as the last.
And then, when my exam time is almost up, something amazing happens.
I didn’t summon it but suddenly before my eyes, my board appears.
And on it are written some words.
-Spirit summons (main skill): summon a spirit and use the power of nature.
*Spirits for summons: Sylph, Kasa
*Entry level 2: summons time 2 hours 15 minutes
I’m completely surprised. My main skill spirit summons has gone up!
‘I didn’t even use a karma prize!’
Raising a main skill from entry level 1 to 2 should have cost me 500 karma.
But out of nowhere, it has gone up in the middle of my exam.
I look at the Tree of Life.
This morning, like before, I have come to it to blow in the flame of life.
‘The Tree of Life is a being of nature, and with a great life force, it gives strength to the nature surrounding it. Spirits are the same. If the Tree of Life disappears, the spirits too will become weaker.’
To speak in opposite terms, if the Tree of Life exists, the power of the spirits is stronger.
The spirit summons is borrowing the power of nature, being close to the Tree of Life that gives energy to it has nourished me as well.
That is the only way I can explain it.
‘Such good fortune!’
Things are working out so well. I almost think it may be compensation for the atrocities from the 3rd exam.
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