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Shadow. I was surprised by the word. Puzzled, I looked upon the user in my embrace. Completely contrary to the expression he had before, his eyes were a still calm. For some reason, I felt goosebumps.
Instinctively, I felt the need to move my shadow, but before I could do so an inherent fear rose inside me, forcing me to a stop. There was something cold around my neck. Their arms, wrapped around my body, and their hands, soon upon my neck.
I was going to die.
I didn’t think any stupid last thoughts, such as why life could be so fleeting to end and at moment. My keen sense has kept me alive up until now, and that warning was in high gear. The moment that I move my shadow, the user lying within my breasts will twist my neck without hesitation.
The energy gathered within my arms slowly seeped away.
Her arms weakly fell. I had somewhat researched the woman’s skill beforehand, so I had kept my Sense centered on her shadow. However, even if I knew about her skills I still had to be careful. If I had felt an ounce of danger, I was ready to break her neck.
The woman didn’t do anything. Realizing that her judgment of her target had been wrong, she took a step backward. She was naturally talented, yet wasn’t overconfident about her skills.
I was starting to like her a bit. The woman in front of me was someone that knew when to step back. As I didn’t have to kill her anymore, I activated the Third Eye. This time, I wanted to know everything about her.
< Player Status >
1. Name: Go Yeon-Joo (5 Years)
2. Class: Silhouette Queen
3. Nation: Babara
4. Clan : –
5. Alias · Nationality: The one that leaves a jet black silhouette at night · South Korea
6. Sex: Female (26)
7. Height · Weight : 169.4cm · 51.8kg
8. Characteristics: True · Chaos
< Attributes >
1. [Power 89] [Endurance 90] [Agility 97] [Stamina 87] [Mana 93] [Luck 82]
< Achievements(5) >
< Inherent Skills (1/1) >
1. Eyes of Temptation (Rank: A)
< Special Skills(1/1) >
1. Abyss Crowd (Rank : S+)
< Potential Skills (3/3) >
1. Shadow Swordsman (Rank: A+)
2. Sense Isolation (Rank : A+++)
3. Dark Shade (Rank: A+)
< Skill Comparison >
1. Kim Soo-Hyun: 540 / 600
(You have 12 attribute points remaining.)
[Power 94] [Endurance 92] [Agility 98] [Stamina 72] [Mana 96] [Luck 88]
1. Go Yeon-Joo: 536 / 600
(User does not have any attribute points remaining.)
[Power 89] [Endurance 90] [Agility 97] [Stamina 85] [Mana 93] [Luck 82]
I whistled in response to her stats. Adding up all of her attribute points, she possessed 536 out of a possible 600. There was only a four point difference between me and her. With her stats, she would be able to take command of a position with the Ten Tributaries.
Regardless, I was confident in beating her. Other than stamina, I had more points in every stat. On top of that, if I were to include the ranks of the inherent, special, and potential skills, I I would win without a doubt.
I made my decision. Once I’m finished with Mule, I will decide what to do with Go Yeon-Joo before I leave. If I recruit her and it doesn’t work out then… Perhaps she was able to get an idea about my thoughts through my expression. When I looked into her eyes she flinched a bit. I quietly spoke with a stern face.
“I like women who have pretty shadows. And so, I like you.”
Go Yeon-Joo stood there with a serious expression. This time, I was the one that was touching her face. Now that the table had turned, I felt a certain pleasure course through my body.
“I hope you don’t do anything stupid.”
At Go Yeon-Joo’s level, she knew exactly what my words meant. After seeing her weakly nod her head, I stepped away from her breasts.
Go Yeon-Joo seemed to be thinking about a lot of things. Her usually calm face was replaced with a complicated expression, showing how she felt at the moment. After letting out a heavy sigh, she started talking.
“I understand your words. I know how to keep secrets.”
“Great. I also like women that know how to keep secrets.”
Go Yeon-Joo suddenly started talking formally as she put on a bitter smile.
“I was just curious. I have no reason to hurt you, so please don’t misunderstand what happened.”
“I would like to tell you, but I can’t because of what happened.”
Even if she had used her Eyes of Temptation with good intentions, that skill still belonged to the group that affects the mind.
Disappointed by my refusal, she slowly stood up from her seat. I signaled her to leave with my eyes and she walked towards the door silently.
When morning arrived, the others woke up and rubbed their eyes. Seeing them resume their Sense training immediately after yawning made me feel proud. If it were any other day, I would support them doing so, but since I was planning on heading out of the city I called the three of them to my room instead.
“Why did you call us?”
An Hyun mumbled while yawning with his mouth wide open while Yoo-Jung looked at him in disgust. Sol also looked embarrassed. I slightly smiled at Hyun’s actions and calmly started to talk.
“You guys are pretty familiar with Sense by now, right?”
Not used to compliments, they looked at each other with a confused look before taking on a sheepish grin and standing up straighter. Seeing them clear their throats was definitely quite the sight. I had a slight smile on my face, but I managed to hold any further reaction in.
“You guys trained so hard. Good job.”
“Soo-Hyun, does that mean…?”
Hearing Hyun ask in an excited tone, I nodded my head in affirmation. Today was the day we would leave the city.
“That’s right. I think it’s okay for us to leave the city, and also time for us to slowly start moving on.”
As soon as I confirmed, Hyun, Sol, and Yoo-Jung quietly cheered. Their expression clearly showed how excited they were about finally taking their first trip around Hall Plain.
“Hey. Listen carefully: unless it’s somewhere where it’s not possible, you need to get into the habit of training daily.”
I sternly advised them after seeing them get so excited, yet they just nodded half-heartedly; I knew that they weren’t really listening. I planned on saying more, but I decided not to. I wanted to see if they still felt the same way after we leave the city and experience various situations.
The laboratory. The dungeon of the ancient alchemist, Vivian. After contemplating about where we should head first, I thought the dungeon would be better. Both locations were of the same difficulty level, but based on the hints I found the dungeon should be a tad easier to tackle.
To arrive at Vivian’s dungeon, we had to leave through Mule’s north gate and walk deep into the Forest of Darkness. The Forest of Darkness is located between the Northern country and the undeveloped area and was so large that even Babara could only control two-thirds of the forest. It wasn’t somewhere one can easily enter, so once we leave the middle part of the forest it would be safe to say that we would be in the undisturbed part of the forest.
Despite the threat, it didn’t really matter to me. Since I have experience in exploring undeveloped areas, I didn’t think it was necessary to recruit a long-distance specialized user. I decided not to form a larger group. If we had more members, we would have to split the reward that much more. I was already busy taking care of the members I had, so I didn’t have the luxury to take care of more.
I took out a bag as Hyun and Sol were jumping around the room due to the excitement. It was a bag with a spell cast on it. As a bag with a permanent spell was too expensive so the one I purchased only had a spell that lasted for a week. Once this exploration was complete, I planned to sell part of the reward to add on to the money we currently had. Then, we wouldn’t be short on money while in Mule.
“I got you guys gifts for training so hard.”
Hearing the word gift, they all turned their attention to the bag. They might’ve learned of such bags while in the User Academy, but this was probably the first time they’d actually seen one. Like children who awaited Santa’s present, their expressions were filled with expectation. An Hyun especially seemed to be looking forward to it, which made me feel a bit worried.
Seeing them wanting me to take out their present as soon as possible, made me sweat a bit. After putting my hand inside the bag, I carefully took out their presents: weapons. After seeing them train at the User Academy, I ordered each and every one after contemplating about what would be the best for them.
One long spear, two daggers, and a wooden staff.
After seeing the weapons that were set on the floor Hyun, Yoo-Jung and Sol expressed their excitement. After giving them the sign that they could partake, they each quickly grabbed their weapons. Hyun did mention his GP before, but I had instructed him to save it for now. There was no need for him to buy anything, so there wasn’t a reason to waste money.
An Hyun grabbed the spear, swung it a couple of times and displayed a satisfied look. His stance was pretty stable; it seemed like he was somewhat used to the weapon.
“Wow, this feels amazing. I like how it feels when I wield it.”
Contrary to my expectations, An Hyun’s swordsmanship was different. Since he had used a sword during the Rite, I expected him to learn to properly slash. However, he stabbed a lot more during his training, thus the spear.
“You specialize in stabs rather than slashes. That’s why I chose the Spear. As you can tell, it has the same form as a Long Spear, but it wasn’t made to be thrown. During battles, I suggest paying attention to the distance between you and your opponent. Your defense will depend on how you perform.”
“Soo, Soo-Hyun. I didn’t think that you would think that far ahead…I’m touched.”
Hyun seemed to be moved by what I said. I turned my attention elsewhere. Maybe Hyun’s words were just a joke since I heard him giggling. Yoo-Jung was touching her daggers quietly and started speaking when Hyun and I let up.
“Soo-Hyun, what about me? These daggers… both of these only have a single edge?”
“That’s because I ordered them that way. Oh, that’s right. Yoo-Jung, I had to order custom-made ones for you…”
Yoo-Jung interrupted with a pleased voice that I had ordered custom weapons just for her.
“Your daggers were originally a katana— it’s Japanese. That’s why the lengths are a lot longer than ordinary daggers. It’s more or less half the length of an ordinary Katana.”
“Hm~ it does feel a bit awkward. I’m sure this will be better once I get used to it.”
“Specializations tend to show during battles for close-range fighters like you. Regardless, just try using it. Finding the weapon that’s right for you is yet another type of training.”
“Right, but Soo-Hyun. Custom-made weapons are more expensive than ordinary ones, right?”
“Of course. Why do you ask?”
Immediately, in response to my answer, Yoo-Jung turned to An Hyun with a gleeful expression. Without asking, I realized why she was twirling her dagger with a boastful smile. Yoo-Jung turned her attention away from Hyun and back towards me.
“Then, that means my present is the most expensive one. Ha ha ha. Oh jeez. Hey, if you’re happy, just say so. Why can’t you just be direct about it?”
An Hyun listened to Yoo Jung’s comment with an annoyed expression on his face. Sol, on the other hand, looked at me with a disappointed look. Childish! The one that should’ve felt disappointed was me! I knew this sort of situation would happen, so I just looked at Yoo-Jung pathetically. However, I was surprised when Yoo-Jung suddenly looked at me provocatively and winked.
After letting out a deep sigh, I continued in a deep voice.
“Unfortunately, the most expensive weapon was Sol’s staff, not your daggers.”
“…What? Why? That’s nothing but a wooden staff!”
Yoo Jung’s voice filled the room. Sol pouted when she heard her say that it was nothing but a wooden staff. I just shrugged.
“Of course. The weapons that are usually used by magicians and priests are magical items.”
Sol’s eyes widened when I told her it was a magical item. After nodding my head, I explained what kind of magic it was.
“Yeah. It calms the heart of the user and increases your effectiveness in managing mana. It’s only a low-level staff, so don’t expect too much from it. It’s still better than not having a staff though. With this, there’s no need to increase your mana now. Nice, right?”
A small smile appeared on my face as I saw Sol answer with a satisfied look on her face. For a moment, I thought of how nice it would be if I had a nice and cute sister like her.
It was only for a moment, but Sol looked at Yoo-Jung with a boastful look. I carefully glanced at Yoo-Jung and noticed how twisted her expression turned in response to Sol’s gaze.
I suddenly remembered when Yoo-Jung complained about Sol showing off. I had told her then that it couldn’t be true; I couldn’t imagine Sol doing something like that. But perhaps… it was something I need to think about again.
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