Chapter 5 — Preparation to leap forward (1)
‘This…… probably isn’t a dream, right?’
Looking at his mother sitting in front of him, JaeHyun was silently on the verge of tears in disbelief.
He kept shoving only rice into his mouth to hide the tears that kept trying to fall.
He glanced at his mother, who had sacrificed her youth for him.
She looked young, just like he remembered.
JaeHyun’s mother, Lee SeonHwa, stared worriedly at her son and moved some side dishes closer to him.
‘Has something been bothering JaeHyun lately? Such a brusque boy’s crying so sadly.’
The moment she had returned from work, he embraced her and cried.
Her son, who was always gruff and didn’t express his emotions, had sobbed sadly in her arms.
Her heart felt heavy as if a stone had settled there.
A child who already grew up without receiving any love from his father.
The JaeHyun who even passed through puberty quietly without any fuss.
It was truly heartbreaking for her that he was suffering all alone without showing any signs of struggle.
For such a son to lean on her so — she couldn’t imagine how heavy the burden must be.
Lee SeonHwa looked at her son’s face and carefully started speaking.
“JaeHyun. Is there something bothering you these days? Is it because you’re having some trouble with applying to high school?”
“No. It’s just… a nightmare, I think.”
Even he thought it was a ridiculous excuse. But his mother didn’t ask any more questions.
JaeHyun put down his spoon and, after a moment of thought, began to talk.
“Um… Mom. I actually have something to tell you.”
“Ok. I knew it.”
As expected. Here it came.
Lee SeonHwa thought carefully about what could be distressing her son.
‘Is it really because he’s afraid of enrolling in Millaes Academy? Becoming a raider is indeed a really dangerous job… and they say the competition for getting in is quite fierce too……’
Lee SeonHwa nodded her head as she convinced herself.
If her son didn’t want it, she planned to give up on Millaes Academy right away and get him admission in a normal school.
No matter how famous of a military academy it was, there was no point if her son didn’t want to go there.
“I plan on changing the department I’m applying to to magic.”
The words that came from her son’s mouth were completely unexpected.
To change the department he was applying to?
Wasn’t this the son who practically sang about entering the combat department in the past?
It didn’t seem like her usually-thoughtful son mentioned this just because he was going with the flow.
Lee SeonHwa thought for a moment and soon placed her hand on JaeHyun’s head.
“You didn’t decide on this all of a sudden, did you?”
“Yes. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while.”
A smile appeared on Lee SeonHwa’s face once again.
“I understand. Do as you wish. Mom wishes for you to do what you want over earning more money. Whether it’s magic or something else. If it is what you need, I will support you.”
A lump appeared in JaeHyun’s throat at Lee SeonHwa’s words, and he held back his tears with some difficulty.
‘Now isn’t the time to cry.’
Taking a deep breath, he calmed himself down.
JaeHyun had to become strong.
For revenge against his father,
and in order to get on a successful track as a Magician as he had longed for.
He had to get up quickly and prepare for a new start.
A world where strength had become everything awaited him.
To defend against his father who was an A-rank raider, he needed to be more powerful in comparison.
JaeHyun engraved that fact in his heart.
一 Quest 《 Rest is the mother of success! 》 has been completed.
一 You have obtained a blank card as a reward for completing the quest.
After resting for a whole day, his vitality had returned to normal by evening.
JaeHyun did some stretches and nodded with a satisfied expression.
“Good. I also cleared the quest. I’ve earned another blank card.”
He was at least certain that the situation was moving in a positive direction.
Although he wasn’t sure what the Nornir System was just yet, it was clear that making use of this situation was worth it.
JaeHyun had knowledge from the future.
He knew about hidden pieces and ruins that could be monopolized.
His memory was good enough for him to have worked as a guide in dungeons, after all.
But even with all that, JaeHyun couldn’t get rid of one worry.
“The problem is the skills side of things. With the exception of 《 Universal Derivation 》 and 《 Lightning Chain 》, I only have combat skills.”
JaeHyun leaned back in his chair and stretched.
“Eugh… I guess since I was planning to become a Warrior at the start, it can’t be helped, huh?”
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JaeHyun fell into deep thought for a moment as he looked at his open status window.
Name: Min JaeHyun
Passive: ‘One Watched by the Gods (NEW!)’ MAX, ‘Absolute Eye of God (NEW!)’ MAX, ‘Trained Swordsmanship’ Lvl 17, ‘Quick Step’ Lvl 15, ‘Flexible Movement’ Lvl 14, “Emergency First-Aid’ Lvl 18……
Active: ‘Universal Derivation’, ‘Lightning Chain (NEW!)’
STAT POINTS: 21
“My level seems to have returned to what it was around this time. The stats have reset as well… So why did the passive skills remain?”
While JaeHyun was thinking, an alert from the system was heard.
“《 One Watched by the Gods 》?”
One of the new skills at the very top of the window — 《 One Watched by the Gods 》. Although he didn’t know the exact details, it seemed this skill maintained his passive skills from before his regression.
JaeHyun quickly checked the skill’s information.
Name: One Watched by the Gods
Helps the user’s rapid growth with the blessing of the gods.
*The majority of the Gods against the Aesir are watching over you!
“What? A skill that affects all stats?”
A skill that adjusted stats. He had never heard of such a thing.
‘Every time you level up, you receive 3 stat points. If you add 1 point to all stats from that, that means you would grow more than twice as fast as others.’
It was a simple calculation. When others got 3 stat points, he would get a total of 8 points.
Even as he felt happy, JaeHyun couldn’t erase the questions in his mind.
‘The attention from those against the Aesir gods…… what on earth does that mean? Let’s first look over the other skills, too.’
The other new skills were also unusual.
JaeHyun checked the remaining skills marked ‘New!’ one by one.
Name: Absolute Eye of God
Penetrates through false illusions and sees the absolute reality.
Name: Lightning Chain
Mana Consumed: 50
Attacks the enemy with chains covered in lightning. Has a chance of inflicting a paralysis state on the attacked enemy.
*The mana consumed increases with the number of chains shot out.
“I don’t know what kind of skill 《 Absolute Eye of God 》 is just yet. I’ve had to face the 《 Lightning Chain 》 directly before, but it’s a really good skill.
JaeHyun nodded his head.
《 Lightning Chain 》 was without a doubt a good damage-dealing skill. And looking at the rank of 《 Absolute Eye of God 》, it would be a great skill.
The problem with the latter was that he still didn’t know for certain how to use it, but it was a problem that would solve itself eventually.
‘There’s no need to rush things.’
After checking all of his new skills, JaeHyun decided to distribute his stat points.
“Hmm… since I’ll be a Magician, Strength isn’t a stat I really need. I should keep Dexterity at least at the minimum for evasion, and Magic is key without a doubt.
……But the most important is, of course, Endurance.”
Endurance wasn’t a stat that raised attack power like Strength or Magic, but it slowed down the process of getting worn out when doing the same thing repeatedly.
When stacked first, the change would be felt for certain when leveling up.
JaeHyun thought for a second. Then he added 2 to Dexterity, 5 to Magic, and the remaining to Endurance.
Thanks to that, at just Level 7, his Endurance was already 19.
Even if he entered Millaes right now, he would be part of the upper ranks.
“I’ve taken care of the pressing concerns first. Next is which skill to familiarize myself with……”
JaeHyun looked at the blank card he took out of his inventory and was locked in thought.
“I don’t need an attack skill right away since I have 《 Lightning Chain 》. Besides, if I copy a high-rank spell unreasonably, I wouldn’t be able to use it due to mana consumption.”
JaeHyun spoke as he spun the blank card.
“As expected, what I need the most is a healing spell.”
In the present year of 2020, the treatment of Magicians was way below that of Warriors.
But it was different for raiders who knew healing spells.
They received royal treatment wherever they went.
This was because even if they weren’t a raider, they could work in any medical field, so there was high preference for them.
‘If I start off with a healing spell, there’s no reason others would look down on me. …….But—’
The most troublesome thing was that it wouldn’t be easy to meet an Awakened who possessed a healing spell.
Especially around the current JaeHyun, there were almost no Awakened.
‘There wasn’t a choice with Jeong WooMin, but from now on, I have to use the blank cards as effectively as possible. I don’t know how many cards the system will give, but…… it wouldn’t just give out plenty of such an item that could break the balance.’
《 Lightning Chain 》 was, of course, a good A-ranked skill. But there was S-rank above that. Placed in front of the fact that there was a level above it, using a blank card to copy an A-rank skill seemed a bit wasteful.
JaeHyun planned to use this blank card a little more effectively.
‘…but that’s easier said than done.’
Not to mention, he was supposed to not only find a healing raider, which are already hard to come across, and copy their skill — but also find a skill that could break the balance?
“Nothing in the world is that easy. Damn.”
JaeHyun sighed as he fell into deep contemplation.
“Ah…… is there no solution?”
“Hmm? Who could it be?”
JaeHyun grabbed his vibrating smartphone and looked at the screen.
The sender was Kim YooJung.
JaeHyun’s expression stiffened for a moment.
Kim YooJung was JaeHyun’s childhood friend. Since they lived next to each other, they spent a lot of time together, and having enrolled in Millaes at the same time, they were the best of friends who worked towards becoming raiders together.
JaeHyun put his hand against his head at the intense headache that followed.
His chest tightened with pain from deep within at the resurfacing of an old memory—
Kim YooJung who was covered in blood with her eyes just barely open — and JaeHyun at the side, who was the only one left alive.
It seemed that the trauma from that day still remained with him.
JaeHyun took deep breaths to calm himself.
‘It’s alright. I can change it now. No, I have to change it.’
Together with his firm decision, JaeHyun’s face relaxed. As he was thinking, Kim YooJung’s messages continued.
“This girl’s still the same as ever.”
JaeHyun read the messages sent by Kim YooJung with a tiny, bitter smile.
<<Heeeeeeey. What are you doing now?
<<Saintess Yoo Sung-Eun is in the city right now for a lecture!!!!! Want to go look at the saintess with me?
<<Ahhhhhhhhhhh reply quickly;; come if you want or I’m gonna go by myself!
<>I’ll be there soon.
“There’s no need to worry about this much distance.”
A brilliant light filled JaeHyun’s eyes.
He was thinking of copying the healing spell of Korea’s best healer, Yoo Sung-Eun —
《 Sacrifice 》.
A black van drove on the road.
The voice of Yoo Sung-Eun’s secretary and manager, Park SungJae, came from the driver’s seat.
“I’ll brief you on what’s left for today. In a moment, there is an outdoor-stage encouragement lecture for raiders. After that is the raid of a B-rank dungeon in Seongbuk-gu, then an inspection of the station base in Wonju field. Afterward, we have to go to America right away……”
As he reported the situation while driving, Park SungJae looked at the pale Yoo Sung-Eun seated at the back and let out a sigh.
He stopped his report for a moment and asked.
“…Are you really alright in that state? Guildmaster, you look worse than before.”
“I’m alright. Just a bit drowsy.”
“It’s because you’ve been taking up too much work for several months. You also overtaxed yourself in the dungeon yesterday.
……You also know it.”
Park Sungjae paused for a moment and continued.
“Your spell is…… killing you.”
Yoo Sung-Eun kept her mouth tightly shut. There was nothing wrong in Park SungJae’s words.
The healing spell that put Yoo Sung-Eun on the path of success — 《 Sacrifice 》.
This spell was so powerful that it could cure the majority of those near death at once, but it had a fatal flaw.
It was that every time the spell was used, it reduced the caster’s vitality.
Usually, ‘Unique Skills’ like 《 Sacrifice 》 had a penalty. For example, snatching away the caster’s vitality, requiring a payment for use, or acquiring a debuff.
This applied to Yoo Sung-Eun’s spell 《 Sacrifice 》 as well.
Park SungJae slightly bowed his head out of the pity he felt.
‘It would be nice if healing spells worked on her.’
The vitality lost from using 《 Sacrifice 》 could only be recovered with spells of the same level or higher.
The problem was that there were no healing spells more powerful than 《 Sacrifice 》.
Saintess Yoo Sung-Eun’s 《 Sacrifice 》 — the only Unique skill for healing.
A Unique skill here was a skill that was at a level above S-rank which was called the highest rank.
It could only be gained through blood inheritance or self-manifestation.
Yoo Sung-Eun was the only person in the world who gained a Unique healing spell.
Receiving healing from someone else was not a possibility.
“We promised not to say those words, SungJae-oppa.”
Yoo Sung-Eun laughed with a joking expression.
Feeling miserable, Park SungJae held on to the wheel more forcefully.
‘If things stay as they are, the Guildmaster might collapse soon. If that happens……’
Park SungJae glanced at Yoo Sung-Eun.
She had stopped talking and was looking out the window with a composed look on her face.
Truthfully, Yoo Sung-Eun knew about her situation the most. The fact that there wasn’t much time remaining wherein she could continue to work as a raider. That her body would soon reach its limit.
But she had to continue.
To protect the citizens who believed in her and the members of the Yeonhwa Guild, she had to endure a little bit more.
Park SungJae looked at Yoo Sung-Eun, who was drinking water with shaking hands, and sighed with pity.