Chapter 23 – Skill Combination (1)
SeoHyun didn’t say what he really felt.
For some reason, he thought that would make him look more miserable.
He wasn’t proud of all the time he had spent to become the number one player of a game almost no one played.
“Do you want to eat cake?”
“But it looks expensive.”
“I’m paying, so don’t worry about the price.”
They sat down and continued talking about Asrian.
While talking, unexpectedly, SeoHyun felt relaxed and began having fun.
Certainly, for boys, there wasn’t a better topic of discussion than video games.
He felt that the itchy sensation he had experienced during the reunion because of how much he wanted to talk about Asrian was being relieved.
JaeHoon was also having fun. He was especially amazed by how many things SeoHyun knew about Asrian.
“A.. Are you really level 50?!”
“Yes… Although my level is still low, I’m going to be leveling up pretty fast soon since I’ve recently completed my awakening quest and obtained an OP skill.”
“Amazing… Wouldn’t that put you on par with the top rankers?”
He finally understood why SeoHyun wasn’t surprised by his level.
SeoHyun seemed to be using his eight years of know-how to the full extent.
In the eyes of those in the heavenly realm, there was almost no difference between the novice and intermediate players.
JaeHoon, who had made up his mind, spoke to SeoHyun.
“In the beginning, I wanted you to join our team as one of the coaches and share information with us about Asra Online…”
“Me… A coach?”
“Yes, we’re really in need of someone that knows about Asra Online… But after talking with you for a while, I’ve discovered something.”
“You are the type of person who would only be satisfied playing and doing things for yourself. Also, I think I asked you for a very difficult favor out of the blue.”
“That may be true.”
“SeoHyun, I just thought about this… But what do you think about becoming a professional gamer in our team?”
Since SeoHyun didn’t seem to be having it, JaeHoon continued explaining.
“You don’t need to get worried about finding a job, they support you in every way possible, and this is something only a few people know…”
JaeHoon lowered his tone of voice.
“It seems like they’re planning to make Asrian an E-Sport. If this is true, it will become even bigger than it is now.”
“E-Sport? But Asrian is a RPG Game.”
“It seems like they’re creating new content inside the game. I’ve heard this through someone I know, so I’m unsure about the details. But I’m sure that they’re planning to add content that will allow users to compete with each other.”
“Yes. You’ll be able to become an Asrian professional gamer!”
SeoHyun thought about it carefully.
Would the new competitive content be similar to the combat system?
The format could be a 3 vs 3 or 5 vs 5.
But the important thing was that the format would l probably be PvP.
This news would make Ain excited.
‘I honestly enjoy fighting named monsters or clearing quests more than PvP…’
However, this did not apply to SeoHyun.
Getting a job that allowed you to earn money was tempting, but the merits of being a professional gamer would be small, in his opinion.
‘If I become a professional gamer, I won’t be able to game freely as I do now.’
—That was the biggest reason.
If he entered a professional gaming team, he would have to practice with his teammates. That would take time from playing normally.
‘I’ll have a lot less time to play with Ain.’
—The Close Range Magician and Support.
He wouldn’t be able to use the skill combination that had taken him so much effort.
Becoming a professional gamer would surely have its benefits, but SeoHyun believed he had more to lose than gain.
‘Also, it’s not like I’m desperate for money.’
If he was in need of money, he could always sell some gold for cash.
Since SeoHyun preferred the in-game world over the real one, that would be something that he would do only as a last resort, but that meant that he would never die because of hunger.
“I’ll think about it.”
“Too bad, although I was expecting you to answer this.”
JaeHoon seemed slightly disappointed by the outcome, but he didn’t seem to be in a bad mood.
Rather than that, he replied with a smile on his face.
“I don’t want to force my friend too much, but if you ever change your mind, please give me a call. Stardust would be excited to have someone with your experience join us.”
“Yes, I’ll give you a call if that happens.”
Hyun thought about it while replying.
After finishing high school, he hadn’t thought about JaeHoon, but he had fun talking about Asrian with the former number 1 student in his class.
SeoHyun started to think that he would like to talk to him again.
Seohyun suddenly took out the pen next to the bill receipt and wrote something down.
It was the strategy SeoHyun had been planning to use against a hidden named boss that was in the novice section.
It was a quest that could only be done by users under level 50 that gave you experience.
It was also a quest that had become useless for him because of the ghost hunting strategy.
It was also to repay the expensive coffee he had bought for him.
By using that quest, he should be able to gain an amount of experience equal to two days of farming.
“What?! Can you really give me information like this?”
After noticing what SeoHyun had written behind the receipt, JaeHoon felt burdened.
“I don’t need it anymore.”
“Even so… I feel like this is too much.”
“Think about it as me repaying you for the coffee you’ve bought.”
JaeHoon hesitated for a long time but eventually accepted.
As a gamer, he was also greedy.
He seemed really moved by a quest that only gave you experience.
“SeoHyun, thank you. I’ll pay you back for this, I promise.”
“Don’t worry about it. Just buy me dinner some other time.”
“Of course, I’ll invite you for dinner however many times it’s necessary. I live around here, so call me anytime!”
Before parting ways, they exchanged numbers.
It was the first number he exchanged after entering university.
* * *
The long-awaited awakening quest was cleared!
After logging in to Asrian Online, Hyun checked out the details about his ultimate attack.
<Can you hear the resonance of the soul? Only those who have witnessed the bottom of the unconscious can truly communicate with the soul.>
– You can assimilate with a target that’s within 20 meters. (The target’s consent is necessary!)
– When the soul assimilates, you can manipulate the body together with the target.
– 10% of your stats are added to the targets.
– The main stat is increased by 50% of your [Empathy] stat.
– The level of all the target’s normal skills is increased by 1.
– You can use the Support’s skills during «Assimilation».
<Cooldown Time: 0.1 seconds>
<Mana Required: 50>
‘Hmm… The skill by itself looks good.’
«Assimilation» was a skill that allowed you to control the body of someone together with that person.
In short, it was like a host giving up access of their body to a parasite.
He decided to think of it as a principle similar to that.
‘I’ll have to test it out.’
Hyun tried to test his ultimate attack, but there was one problem.
To Assimilate, you needed the target’s consent.
If Ain were there, he would have asked her, but it wasn’t time for her to log in yet.
And he didn’t feel comfortable asking another user since he needed to reveal his ultimate attack to do that.
“That you’ll control my body? Don’t talk nonsense! Get out of here!”
Asking the NPC mercenary soldiers resulted in him receiving insults. He was kicked out of the mercenary soldier’s guild.
He never imagined that getting the approval of a third party would be so hard!
Hyun ended up paying ten silver coins and renting a golem.
The moment you rented one of the Magic Country’s golems, you received full authority over it, so he didn’t need to get permission.
The puppeteer explained it to him with a smile.
“It doesn’t matter what you ask it to do within the three hours time limit, but once time passes and its magic empties, it will become soil again. So please be aware of that.”
He rented a one-time use golem.
After using «Assimilation», Hyun’s body became light and was absorbed by the golem.
Hyun’s soul was inside the small 50 centimeters golem.
His shoulders felt unnatural when he tried to move the body’s joints.
Low-Ranking Stone Golem Lv.5 (The soul of ‘Hyun’ is assimilating!)
[Strength: 20(+65)] [Agility: 5(+5)] [Vitality: 15(+2)] [Magical Power: 0(+5)]
Skills – <+Open List>
– You can use the Support’s skills.
He saw the golem’s information instead of his own when he opened the status window.
The first thing he checked out were the stats.
‘What? Why does he have so much strength?’
The level 5 golem, which was practically junk, had 85 strength.
Since the main stat of the golem was strength, 50% of the Support’s Empathy had been added to it.
‘It seems like the other stats have gone up too.’
Paf- The moment he stopped the «Assimilation», Hyun appeared in the air.
‘So it’s this kind of skill.’
Hyun understood how his ultimate attack worked.
There were three big advantages to «Assimilation».
The first one was a stat increase.
All stats increased by 10%, and on top of that, 50% of Empathy was added to the main stat.
Its versatility was very high since it increased the main stat of the target.
The second good point was control.
Even if it was a junk golem with artificial intelligence, if he could control it, he should be able to deal a great amount of damage with it.
The third benefit was safety.
The Support was a job that was prone to becoming an opponent’s target.
But if he could hide inside the body of a damage dealer or tanker, no one would be able to attack him.
Basically, «Assimilation» worked both as a very effective supporting skill and a way to defend himself.
‘Good. I’ve learned how the skill works. Should I hunt until Ain logs in?’
Hyun left the 10 silver, low-ranking golem in the streets and went to see the puppeteer.
In order to hunt comfortably, he’d need a better doll.
‘Yes, that one looks good.’
The doll Hyun had gotten by spending 50 gold was a one-meter tall lame doll called ‘Acrobat.’
“Oh, did the golem break already? It will also disappear if it dies or the magic given to it runs out, so you don’t need to return it. But please, be careful.”
“I’ll be more careful, thanks.”
As soon as he left the shop…
Hyun assimilated into the clown-shaped doll holding a dagger with both hands.
Once again, his body turned into light dust, then the eyes of the doll began to shine.
Red Acrobat Lv.55 (The soul of ‘Hyun’ is assimilating.)
[Strength: 10] [Agility: 15(+70)] [Vitality: 10(+2)] [Magical Power: 5(+5)]
[«Fatal Blow» Lv.0(+1)] – Deal x13 damage to opponents with less than 5 stat points in defense.
[«Open Wound» Lv.0(+1)] – Each time you land a successful consecutive attack, the damage increases by 10%. (13 times maximum!)
Hyun smiled creepily while playing with the two-handed sword in his hands.
By combining the doll’s slanted eyes with his own, his appearance resembled that of a doll that appeared in horror movies.
‘It looks good.’
The Red Acrobat had a unique characteristic compared to normal users or NPCs.
—The balance was solely focused on the skills.
Since you couldn’t equip the doll with items, you could find ones that had unique and strong skills from time to time.
Hyun was thinking of exploiting that characteristic.