Chapter 192 – Changing Things (1)
The fog seeped through the cliff walls and swept over the surface of Demonia Gorge for ten minutes before vanishing.
It was something that happened once or twice a day in Demonia Gorge.
[Logging in to Asrian!]
Those that had escaped the fog by logging out logged in again once the fog was gone.
Hyun, Ain, and the workers that they’d hired appeared all at once.
It had been three days since the incident.
Hyun returned to the place to obtain the Sacred Stones they’d gathered for the past three days.
‘It has only been four days since I was last here, but it changed completely.’
The architects had built a fortress that surrounded the canyon, and magic circles shone from the tops of the walls.
He could see the members of the Darkness Guild between the walls. Thanks to that, a defense structure was made.
The wall that surrounded Demonia Gorge was like a big castle that was a few kilometers in size.
It was so big that Hyun wouldn’t even think of going through it if he didn’t have «Possession».
‘There weren’t many cases of a user building a castle in Asra.’
Was it because it was a castle built by users? It fused modern designs and Asrian’s fantasy architecture, so it gave off a mysterious atmosphere.
There were numerous buildings for all sorts of things surrounded by the walls that looked like something from a fantasy movie.
‘It seems like the border between the game and real life is starting to disappear.’
The movie industry becoming interested in Asrian, the birth of a new job called the Magic Engineer, and people doing part-time jobs in Asrian were probably because of that.
It was something unique to Asrian that he hadn’t seen before in Asra.
Hyun had no intention of ignoring that difference. On the other hand, he began thinking he should also accept that change faster.
He thought that he had probably been lucky.
Thanks to Robert, Jini, and Darkness, he’d opened his eyes to a new world faster than others.
[You’ve obtained a Sacred Stone x 28!]
Hyun nodded after checking the items he received from Mayday.
He checked the amount of Sacred Stones and how much divine power each had.
He was thinking of comparing it to the numbers obtained by the Theologian and acting on it if the numbers were too different… but thankfully, there wasn’t a need to do that.
“Also, please accept this.”
He also received another gift from Mayday.
「Hmm? What’s that?!」
Ain’s eyes shone when she realized it was a ‘ring.’
“Ha. I don’t need something like th—!”
Hyun used his control priority to silence Ain, but the voice had already come out.
Mayday knew the effects of «Assimilation», so she realized it was ‘Ain’ and not ‘Hyun’ who said that, and she added some explanation.
“It isn’t a personal gift, but it is something that the guild is giving you, so you don’t need to feel pressured.”
[Ring of the Unidentified Henchmen]
– An old ring someone used to use a long time ago.
– Some Demonic Energy can be detected.
「What. It’s a quest item…?」
Ain calmed down after realizing that the ring wasn’t a piece of equipment.
“We struggled a lot to obtain it, but no one knew how to use it. We thought that maybe you would know.”
Even without Mayday saying it, Hyun could guess how to ‘use’ the ring.
It was probably similar to Louise’s necklace.
The old necklace was still inside Hyun’s inventory. He’d tried to return it to her after meeting Louise, but she didn’t accept it, so it was still in his inventory.
“If it’s a gift, I’ll gladly take it.”
After receiving the ring, Hyun began to examine it; then he realized something about it.
—The symbol on the ring seemed familiar to him.
Two bolts of lightning intersecting… Hyun could guess whose it was without checking the interloop.
“A Heavenly Being’s…?”
Mayday’s eyes shone after hearing Hyun’s mumble.
“As expected. You know something, right?”
“No. I have an idea, but I’m not 100% sure…”
Hyun’s reply could sound suspicious from the point of view of the person who gave him the ring, but Mayday didn’t question it.
After a short greeting, Hyun left the Gorge along with the workers who’d spent eight hours a day working for the past three days.
‘I have the Sacred Stones, so I guess I won’t have to come back here for a while.’
They met a group of devils while they crossed Hetrian Forest, but to someone with the Blessing of Darkness, a forest full of devils wasn’t different from one with animals.
It took them 30 minutes to reach the town.
The last day…
Someone complained, saying that digging for the entire day was too hard, but the other users said that they wouldn’t be able to forget what happened that day and expressed their regret.
The Theologian who liked Ain seemed quite sad.
He didn’t have any lingering feelings about people he would probably never see again. After saying farewells, he teleported to a high-level hunting ground in the north.
Ain opened her mouth after they reached the town.
「Hyun, you’re quite cold.」
「It was a girl that looked like me. I was wondering what I would do if you found yourself unable to refuse her.」
「You weren’t similar at all… Her face was different, and she was taller than you.」
「Does that mean you can recognize all my disguises?」
「In most cases, yeah.」
The hunting ground was an area that most users couldn’t get close to due to how cold it was.
Hyun and Ain hunted monsters while talking as usual.
「I think it should be fun if I add wind-type attacks.」
「Why? Did you like it after testing it with «Possession»?」
It was 3 am.
They were able to reach their goal before Ain went to sleep.
A level-up effect popped up from Ain.
‘We were able to reduce our level gap to five.’
After the Main Quest, he had gained many levels at once, so they were focusing on reducing the level gap between them.
To be able to hunt and do quests together more comfortably, it was better to have similar levels.
He was giving all the experience to Ain, so in two or three days, they would probably be able to close the gap in their levels.
[Hyun (Lv. 182)]
Demonic Energy: 300300/300300
Job: Shadow Linker (Hidden)
Tendency: -83 (Abyss)
[Strength: 58] [Agility: 145] [Vitality: 88] [Magical Power: 144] [Empathy: 462]
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There had been many changes to Hyun’s specs thanks to the experience dungeon, Main Quest, and History Quests.
He’d evenly distributed the Agility, Magical Power, and Empathy stats, so that calculation was easy, but it became a bit complicated when he considered his skills.
Hyun had even used the skill reset potion, so his skill order had also changed.
After thinking about it for a while, the best combination of skills he could reach was the following:
[Skill List. 1]
[«Shadow Shield» Lv.9]
[«Wind Barrier» Lv.4]
[«Angel’s Basic Sword Art» Lv.6]
[«Blessing of Darkness» Lv.Max]
(※ You have ‘2’ unused skill points in this skill list!)
[«Impact Amplification» Lv.5]
[«Powerless Wave» Lv.5]
[«Biorhythm Acceleration» Lv.2]
(※ You have ’13’ unused skill points in this skill list!)
Hyun hadn’t learned a new skill for a simple reason…
When «Assimilating» with Ain, «Impact Amplification», «Latent Potential Increase (Magical Power)», and «Latent Potential Increase (Agility)» were pretty much always at their maximum of three stacks.
If they added «Invisible» and «Biorhythm Acceleration», Ain would end up reaching the maximum amount of five buffs.
Hyun couldn’t add any new buffs to that, so he had two choices:
Learn a debuff skill similar to «Powerless Wave» or fortify an existing skill.
Hyun chose the second option, so his skills changed like so:
«Impact Amplification» Lv.2 → 5
«Powerless Wave» Lv.3 → 5
«Wind Barrier» Lv.0 → 4
«Invisible» Lv.2 → 4
«Shadow Shield» Lv.8 → 9
He’d given priority to the wave-type buffs to increase the range of the skills.
Since the range went from two meters to four, he could cover an area similar to the range of «Sword of Darkness».
«Wind Barrier» broke too easily without an upgrade.
He invested skill points to increase the duration of «Invisible» so that it would match the three-second duration of «Biorhythm Acceleration».
Finally, he invested almost a hundred skill points to take «Shadow Shield» from level eight to nine.
Hyun had to empty one skill slot for that one.
Not only that, but taking it from level nine to ten required 150 skill points, so he couldn’t do it yet.
‘Is it because it’s a skill related to Demonic Energy? How many points it uses is ridiculous.’
From the description, it was clear that it was a skill worthy of investing in.
The damage absorption went from [Empathy]x150 → x200. The maximum amount of Demonic Energy he could have had increased from [Empathy]x500 → x650, so the maximum amount of Demonic Energy he could have surpassed three hundred thousand.
The most important effect…
The sister skill of the «Sword of Darkness», the «Armor of Darkness», was generated.
[«Armor of Darkness»]
– Use all the Demonic Energy you have and create a shield for the same amount.
– The shield lasts for [Empathy/100] seconds. (Max 5 seconds)
– When the duration ends, the remaining shield becomes ‘Demonic Energy’ again.
If the «Sword of Darkness» was an offensive skill that burned all of your Demonic Energy, the «Armor of Darkness» was a skill that used all of the Demonic Energy and allowed you to withstand a blow.
With enough Demonic Energy, you could create a shield capable of resisting an attack that dealt more than a hundred thousand damage, so in a sense, it was the most support-like skill he had.
‘That’s too bad. It would be a great skill if it didn’t have the five-second limit.’
It also lacked in other terms compared to the «Sword of Darkness» in that there was a limit to its duration.
‘It’s still great compared to one second.’
The last change was in his ‘title.’
– Increase resistance to Darkness-type attacks by 20%.
– Now, even while you have Demonic Energy, skills don’t lose their colors. (On/Off possible)
It was the second title he’d obtained after ‘Heavenly Being’.
Having resistance to an element was always welcome.
Although the second option didn’t seem like much initially, it was more useful than expected.
After changing his job to a Shadow Linker, something bothersome began happening.
…His body turned pitch-black when the amount of Demonic Energy he had increased, and now he could stop that from happening.
‘I can finally walk around the towns now.’
Until that point, Hyun had used the «Sword of Darkness» from time to time to empty his Demonic Energy so that NPCs wouldn’t be wary of him.
Thanks to the title, he didn’t have to do that anymore.
‘Should I also check out Ain’s?’
Hyun decided to check out her stats since he was «Assimilated» to her.
After all, Ain was his partner and would also be in the future.
[Ain (Lv. 177)]
The following soul is Assimilated: Hyun (Lv. 182)
Demonic Energy: 0(+300300)/0(+300300)
Job: Elemental Berserker (Hidden)
Tendency: -3 (Abyss)
[Strength: 25 (+12)] [Agility: 215(+29)] [Vitality: 86(+18)] [Magical Power: 356(+275)]
The biggest change was Ain’s faction.
They had to think about whether she would keep being part of the Abyss or convert to the Heavens again.
Besides that, her stats had also improved.
Ain had increased her Agility and Magical Power in equal amounts, but thanks to «Assimilation», her Magical Power stat had surpassed 600.
The total stat value with «Assimilation» was 1015, which was ridiculous!
‘«Assimilation» is definitely an impressive ultimate attack.’
At first glance, they seemed like specs beyond those of a level 400 user… It was impressive, but that wasn’t all.
Asrian’s growth system…
200, 300, 400… The higher the level of a user went, the harder growing became, but instead, growth rate increased.
For example, you obtained three stat points per level from level 200 on.
From level 300, earned skill points also changed.
From level 400… Every level was extremely difficult to increase, and how much stronger you become with each level couldn’t be compared to before.
Taking everything into consideration, 1015 stats were equal to a level 350 user that hadn’t received any achievement bonuses.
Of course, that was already quite impressive.
‘This… Has remained the same.’
[※ You have ‘133’ unused skill points!]
Surprisingly, Ain hadn’t used a single skill point after she surpassed level 100!
She probably hadn’t felt the need to because he was almost always «Assimilated» into her.
“I wanted to test other attributes as well.”
—That was Ain’s answer when he asked her about the skills.