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My flame of life skill was intermediate level 1. And that’s because I aggressively poured 1300 karma into it.
‘Thank goodness. What a relief!’
I was thankful to myself for making an impressive decision.
I could have spent 10 years living alone. In that time, that’s a long enough period that, who knows, I could have forgotten Min-jeong’s face.
“Should I have just used 1800 karma and raised it to intermediate level 2?”
Anyhow, the exam itself didn’t pose much difficulty.
I created a flame of life and blew it into the Tree of Life.
‘One more time.’
I made another flame of life and blew it into the tree.
As the flame seeped in, it felt as if energy was returning to the Tree of Life. Or it could just be a feeling.
Would they have attached the word ‘unlimited’ to the task if all it took was these two flames to visibly improve it?
‘What is the intent? Why is it unlimited?’
I thought it over thoroughly.
In the previous 4th exam, I spent 30 days here and cleared the exam.
Aside from taking time, it was an easy exam. To top that, spending time with the Tree of Life also increased my spirit summons level.
I finally came to a realization.
This exam is giving me a chance to grow and develop.
If you spent a long time here, the longer you spend, the spirit summons level increases.
I was now on the 5th turn and having lost all my comrades, this is a precious chance to increase my capabilities.
‘Good, this is a good opportunity, I’ll use it well.’
I made a firm promise to myself.
No matter how long it takes, I’ll take it, and make a whirlwind growth.
Of course, I’ll be lonely because I can’t see my family and Min-jeong, but I’ll endure and get through it.
As long as I clear the exam I can see them again so there was no need to feel impatient.
I went to the mothers and made one request.
“While I am here, would it be okay to stay by the Tree of Life?”
“By the Tree of Life?”
“Yes. I wish to spend 24 hours a day with the Tree of Life.”
The mothers happily approved it.
“We don’t mind at all. You are our family so it is good no matter how long you wish to spend with the tree.”
“It is good to see that you feel attached with the Tree of Life.”
From that day onwards, I started to spend every day with the Tree of Life.
Meals of course, and sleeping too, I did it on top the Tree of Life.
The closer I am to the Tree of Life, the more it increases the spirit summons. I’m using it to the max effect.
Thanks to the reflex entry level 3, spending time atop the tree isn’t difficult.
I’ve got good jumping ability, I can easily hop up and I’ve got good balance too.
After I spent a week like that, the tree felt like a flatland.
“Human oppa is weird.”
“He won’t come down from there.”
“I bet even the red apes don’t like the tops of trees as much as that oppa.”
“He’s like a monkey.”
The young elves looked at me not coming down from the Tree of Life and started a fire of chatter.
But one young girl elf stuck herself to the tree and started to climb up it.
If it was a normal young girl, it would have been impossible, but perhaps its because she is an elf, she bravely made it to where I am.
The young girl elf is none other than Elise.
Nearly abducted by despicable humans, she is the girl who once suffered from anxiety.
Elise looked at me and laughed coyly. Aww, so cute.
I want to have her as my daughter but then her unni, Ellie, probably wouldn’t let that happen?
“Isn’t it nice here?”
“You want to go up even higher?”
We climbed up the tree together.
The Tree of Life has grown to the sky and the climbing was endless.
If we grasped a wrong limb I could summon Sylph to catch us so there was no danger of us injuring ourselves either.
As we start to go up together, beneath us on the ground the young elves began to rumble.
“What is it? Human hyung and Elise have started going up together!”
“It must be good up there.”
“You think they’re competing to see who can get up higher?”
“I want to go up too!”
“Huh? Me too!”
Is this mob mentality?
The young elves were engulfed in playing now and they all started to climb up the Tree of Life.
I worry that perhaps I have encouraged a useless and dangerous thing to the kids but that was an unfounded security.
“Hohoho, the kids are playing well.”
“When we were young, we played a lot on the Tree of Life too.”
“The more time you spend with the Tree of Life, the more we received good energy from Mother Nature so it is good.”
The mothers looked happy.
I surely cannot look at elves with the same point of view as humans.
I don’t think they ever worry about things like falling.
Then again, they’ve got spirits so they probably don’t worry about that. In addition, elves, on a basic level, are more athletic and physically capable than humans.
But the young elves who have followed me up seems to have gotten bored.
“Hyung, now what?”
“Teach us something fun.”
“If you brought us all the way up here, be responsible for that.”
I was becoming scared of these little kids.
I pondered while in a cold sweat and finally thought of an idea.
It was time to show a new game to these elves.
“Let’s play tag.”
The kids gathered round like a hive of bees and I explained to them the rules of tag.
“If you get caught by the person who is the tagger, that tagged person becomes the new tagger.”
“If you’ve been caught, can you escape?”
“No, if your body is touched by the tagger, you become the next tagger.”
“Then you just need to go far?”
“Let’s say we cannot get off this tree, and we also can’t go up too high either.”
First of all, I become the tagger to show them how it is done.
“We can’t get caught!”
The young elves screamed and scatter. Among them, I targeted one girl.
The elf girl let out a petrified scream and scrams. She’s scared but her face is laughing.
I moved left and right and trapped the elf girl at the end of a tree branch
The elf girl was cornered when she jumped down.
I’m startled but the elf girl summoned Sylph and rode the wind to a different spot.
“… let’s decide on no spirit summons. If you summon a spirit, you become the tagger.”
“This is fun!”
The young elves were excited.
I didn’t particularly have anything else to do and this became exercise so it all works out.
The kids have the elf’s outstanding athleticism and being familiar with the tree, they are agile.
But still, they were kids.
Thanks to my athleticism entry level 3, I easily caught an elf boy.
“Darn, now I’m the tagger!”
“Haha, Rick is the tagger!”
“Don’t get caught!”
The game of tag is a rage.
It is a game but the very militant game of tag catches the eyes of the adults.
At first, they looked pleased that I was playing so well with the kids, but slowly, their eyes changed.
“I think we could use that as training?”
“It makes for very good exercise.”
“If they climb trees well, that is beneficial to battle too.”
The grown-up elf men join in in the game of tag frenzy.
They, at an arranged time every day, gather together and play tag like its training. Of course, at a higher point the adults play themselves.
The kids watch them with me and play from lower on the tree.
‘That part is interesting.’
The top of the Tree of Life.
With a crazy like speed, as the elf men were all playing tag, I watched them and I could not stop my shock.
Their speed was too fast!
Somersaults and handsprings after that, from a skinny sprig they delicately found their balance. Is that human? Or, right, not human.
I am a full-grown adult and I still cannot follow them so I have to hang out with the kids.
But the kids too have gone crazy with this game of tag and have shown immense growth.
They quickly got the knack for it and they climbed well like squirrels.
“Hehehe, try getting me!”
“No, try me!”
From all directions, little kids like monsters taunt me. Now, catching them is becoming more and more difficult.
‘Ugh, let’s just think of this as training.’
As me being it becomes an increasingly frequent occurrence, the fitness intermediate level 1 reached its limit and I became exhausted and panted; this happens more and more.
Not only that, the well-behaved Elise too jumped to a tree opposite and escaped my chase and I felt betrayed.
Although unni Ellie and her lover Jake are happy that Elise has become brighter.
‘There’s no way my fitness is lagging. It must be the difference in stamina.’
I am at Kang Chun-seong’s level of fitness: intermediate level 1.
Could it be possible that Kang Chun-seong’s fitness lagged behind that of kid elves?
I think the problem is the balance that it takes to be on these branches.
But for ten days I continued to treat the Tree of Life and repeatedly played tag.
-Reflex (synthesis skill): knowing how to move your body.
*entry level 4
My fatigue completely disappears and instead, a thrilling ecstasy.
‘My reflex level climbed!’
Staying in the elf village, the skills I can grow were not just the spirit summons.
A simple problem.
Having mastered martial arts all his life, Kang Chun-seong, from the beginning, had an unbelievable level of skill.
Through training, I too can increase my skill level.
Not on flat ground but atop an unfamiliar Tree of Life, living 24 hours a day here, with intense games of tag, I improved my balance.
So it’s not strange at all that that increased my reflex level.
‘I’ll do it like this!’
The spirit summons for sure, the reflex and fitness skills, I decided to increase them.
Its training I do as play so even if it was hard, it was fun too.
“Human oppa suddenly got faster!”
“Hing, we won’t be able to catch him!”
“Hyun, your body movements suddenly seem weird! It’s suspicious!”
Thanks to the reflex level going up, I get caught less in tag.
It became a hell of a lot easier balancing and moving on top of the tree.
Once I take a big jump, I shake both my arms while in the air and adjust my balance as I descend, and landed on a branch 10 meters away.
That incredible acrobatics, succeeding in it, it awakened me. Surpassing my previous level, grand movements are possible.
From then on, I don’t get caught in tag by the kid elves anymore.
And then on the 20th day of the 5th exam.
-Spirit summons (main skill): summon a spirit and display strength from mother nature.
*Spirits possible for summon: Sylph, Kasa
*Entry level 3: summon time 2 hours 30 minutes
The fruits of eating, sleeping, and playing on the Tree of Life. Spirit summons leveled up in 20 days!
‘Just keep going like this.’
I decided to change the taggers up to two people and changed the difficulty level of the game.
The kids’ tag skills instantly improved again, and having seen this from above, the elf men just go ahead with 3 taggers.
“Doing this makes the training more effective.”
“You have to know who the tagger is so it trains the memory and decision making too.”
“He is definitely a human worth of the mothers accepting him as family.”
“Is that human a genius?”
The compliments about me are great.
The greatest worry for me is that the Tree of Life’s recovery is obvious, I have become someone who cannot be absent from this village.
The incarnate being of temper, Ella, brings us snacks to eat. Apples and strawberries, grapes, and dried things too.
“Thanks to you, Elise has become much better.”
“Oh, thank you.”
If Ella is thanking me, I think I can say all the elves like me.
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