Chapter 35: Chapter 35
Su-hyeun followed Kim Dae-ho through the hall of the hot smithy.
At first, he wondered how Dae-ho could endure such heat, but now he was no longer worried. Kim Dae-ho had developed a tolerance to the heat since he was a child.
More importantly, Su-hyeun wanted to see the sword that Kim Dae-ho had forged.
As they descended the staircase leading to the basement of the smithy, he could see equipment hanging on the wall.
It was the true masterpiece that Kim Dae-ho had created.
<<This place is incredible no matter how many times I see it.>>
These weren’t items that could be found in this generation.
This was equipment that could only be found in the future, after a long period of countless research, advancement in crafting techniques, and smelting of the ether stones.
Kim Dae-ho was already creating this kind of equipment at this time. He was indeed both a master and a genius.
“Here, this is it.”
Kim Dae-ho picked a sword off the wall and handed it to Su-hyeun.
It was a sword of the highest quality made with ether stone, and he had it hanging on the wall.
An ordinary silver long sword. One couldn’t really tell it was anything special by its appearance alone.
Su-Hyeun held the sword handed to him by Kim Dae-ho. It was heavy.
It was definitely more massive than a regular sword, but it didn’t feel that bad to Su-hyeun.
“How is it? The weight is perfect, right?”
“Indeed, it is.”
It wasn’t the weight of an ordinary sword. However, it wasn’t a weight that would be considered heavy to the average awakener.
Instead, an appropriate weight was added to the power of the sword. It was a weight that held the proper balance.
“The weight can be adjusted according to the melted ether stone on the sword. You can make it weigh as heavy as a ton or as light as a feather. It’s not really a good function, but I made it so that you can adjust it to your preference so use it to your liking.”
“Per your request, I forged it so that it stays true to a sword’s function and magic conductivity, rather than the sword’s overall use effect. The more powerful the user of the sword, the higher the efficiency of the sword will be.”
“Well, it’s not that special.”
“Yes, it’s not special. However, it’s perfect.”
Su-hyeun pulled the sword out from its sheath. The shining silver long sword showed off its sleek blade and reflected Su-hyeun’s face.
Su-hyeun took the sword and slashed at the tip of his clothes. The blade just swished through the fabric as if it were a blunt stick.
This time, he took another sword that he was carrying and threw it up in the air.
The sword that Su-hyeun swung lightly cut through the sword that he threw in the air neatly in half.
As the halved sword fell to the ground, Su-hyeun commented, “Interesting.”
It was as if the sword was alive.
Even without using magic, it was able to differentiate between what he was trying to cut and what he wasn’t. Furthermore, its sharpness and its degree of strength were unbelievable as well. The level of sharpness could not be simply made from any substance.
“A magical device…”
“Oh, can you tell?”
As Su-hyeun realized the true worth of the sword, Dae-ho Kim smiled brightly.
“Correct. No technique can form that degree of sharpness. So, as you requested, I used the ether stone, which contains magical properties to form that extremely sharp and firm blade.”
“Did you base it off the principle of an electric saw?”
“You’ve got good eyes. Indeed. Rather than just being sharp, if you add the friction of rotation, that power will be amplified. Of course, it can’t be seen with the naked eye.”
Su-hyeun was quite surprised.
His request was just for the shape and function of the sword to be accurate and perfect to its basic form. It was because he thought that suited him better than a sword needlessly plastered with skills. However, he never could imagine that the sword’s power and sharpness could be increased like this.
<<The method is remarkable, too, but the fact that it was made possible in and of itself was incredible.>>
As expected, it was the right choice to ask Kim Dae-ho to create this. It had taken a whole year, but the creation of a weapon of this degree was worth the wait.
“What is its name?”
Kim Dae-ho engraved a name on all his equipment. Of course, it was only for the equipment that he deemed well made.
This sword was well worthy to receive a name. It definitely should have a name.
“It doesn’t have one, twerp.”
What a surprising answer. Kim Dae-ho roughly scratched his head and spoke.
“It’s your sword, so you name it. You’re not a kid, so why are you expecting me to name it, too?”
“…Is that okay?”
“You’re not greedy for it? You made such a wonderful sword like this.”
“What greed is there to speak of? Forget it. I’m satisfied that I could even have the chance to forge a sword like this.”
His chance to name the sword was now passed on to someone else. It might be something troublesome and meaningless, but for Kim Dae-ho, it was a huge concession.
Su-hyeun thought about the sword’s name for a while. Instead of coming up with a name by himself, he wanted to share it with Kim Dae-ho, who had spent one year to painstakingly forge this sword.
Su-hyeun spoke after a while of thought.
“I’ll name it Dragon Slaying Sword, Gram.”
“Gram? Dragon Slaying Sword? What kind of rustic name is that?”
The name Balmung was also named by Su-hyeun in the past.
Gram was another name of Balmung, used in North Europe’s mythology. They were practically the same name.
But to Su-hyeun, above anything else, he did not want to give up on the title of a dragon-slaying sword.
However, he did not want to reuse the name Balmung either. He thought that he might fail again if he used the same name.
“Well, I was wondering if I might be able to slay a dragon with this sword someday.”
At Su-hyeun’s vague answer, Kim Dae-ho looked at him, speechless.
“Ha, what a cheesy kid.”
No matter Dragon Slaying Sword or Gram, it was all the same embarrassing name to Kim Dae-ho. Even so, Su-hyeun quite liked the name he had come up with. Su-hyeun was not aware that his wits of coming up with names were decreasing.
“I have deposited the fees before coming here. Please confirm it.”
Su-hyeun spoke while putting Gram back into its scabbard. Kim Dae-ho blinked in surprise at the news which he had heard for the first time.
“Fees? What fees?”
“I had also sent a down payment. Didn’t you see it?”
“What? Did you take me for a beggar, kid!” Kim Dae-ho jumped and shouted as if the smithy was going away. To Kim Dae-ho, money was nothing but funds to make materials to forge equipment.
“What else can I do when I have nothing else to give you? I don’t want to hear from others that I’m making use of you at this age.”
“Nonsense! If you wanted to fund me, you should have given me some materials instead of money. Aren’t you an awakener, too?”
“Even so, wouldn’t I be too shameless if I did that?”
“Forget it. I need the right materials instead of money. If you really want to thank me, you should have gotten me those.”
What he said was right.
A real reward should be what the other party needs most. To Kim Dae-ho, who regards money similar to a stone, it might not be considered a bonus.
<<If so, why didn’t he take some of the equipment here to sell?>>
Kim Dae-ho only bought the ether stones and used them on forging equipment, but did not sell them anywhere else.
He might have been quite wealthy thanks to his reputation as a craftsman now, but his wealth would run out someday.
In fact, Kim Dae-ho had been struggling with cash since 2021. Knowing the truth, Su-hyeun had deliberately deposited the money to him.
That moment, the smartphone in Su-hyeun’s pocket rang. Kim Dae-ho, who was hurling abusive language at Su-hyeun, stopped and waved his hand at him.
“Why should I be wasting my energy on you? Forget it. If there’s nothing else, get lost.”
“Yes, Uncle. I’ll be back again.”
“If you have nothing else, don’t you come to me!”
Kim Dae-ho still came out to send Su-hyeun off despite having said that. Indeed, he was someone who acted differently from his words on a good note.
The vibrations which had continued for some time stopped. Su-hyeun quickly took out the smartphone from his pocket and checked the missed calls list.
It was from Lee Ju-ho. As Su-hyeun returned the call, Lee Ju-ho picked it up immediately.
“What have you been doing recently?”
“I just got a weapon made. I’m about to head up to the 20th floor.”
“I’ve heard about it. There is a huge commotion about it on Abyss Online now.”
Did news travel this fast?
Somehow, there was no other faster source than online for people who loved writing. Su-hyeun scratched his head and walked towards his car.
“But why are you looking for me? Is there another dungeon this time?”
“Yes. There’s that, too, and I thought of having a meal with you sometime. I had just cleared the 34th floor a while back.”
“I could probably meet you for a meal but… I think it might be tough for another dungeon attack.”
“Is there anything wrong?”
“I think I’ll enter the 20th-floor trial immediately.”
Su-hyeun started the engine as soon as he got in the car.
“Let’s meet up for a chat first.”
Su-hyeun drove his car towards a city near Yeongdeungpo in Seoul.
Su-hyeun and Lee Jun-ho met amidst the crowd. As it was dinner time, they went to a restaurant with a private room and ordered food. The dinner table was soon filled with Korean cuisine. As the door closed and their surroundings became quiet, Lee Ju-ho spoke.
“Are you very busy?”
“I didn’t want to push back any of my challenges.”
The 20th floor was a special section.
As much as it was the most challenging trial, its rewards were the best. Su-hyeun wanted to clear this section to the best of his potential.
“You seem to be in quite the hurry…”
Lee Ju-ho seemed to know Su-hyeun well. He felt that Su-hyeun was anxious.
“Is there anything wrong?”
“I have a favor to ask of you.”
The reply that Lee Ju-ho got was different from his question, but Lee Ju-ho thought that his reply had nothing to do with his question.
“What is it?”
“You have appeared a lot on the media recently, and even gotten more famous…”
Since a year back, Lee Ju-ho had been ascending the tower taking on trials that were more difficult than he usually handled. After it was found out by the public, Lee Ju-ho was the center of attention for news related to awakeners. He was so-called the ‘level-fluctuating’ awakener.
Lee Ju-ho was already a B-rank awakener before the commotion. When taking into consideration his level and the method he used to ascend the tower, it wasn’t something special for the media to pay attention to him.
“Can you possibly get in personal contact with the authorities?”
“If you mean authorities… Do you mean the higher-ups?”
Su-hyeun was referring to not purely the awakeners authority, but the higher-ups that managed and operated the organization.
“It’s not impossible, but…”
“Please convey a message to them.”
“Just what is it about?”
“In the coming month or so…”
Su-hyeun started sharing his story.
When the story ended, Lee Ju-ho’s expression was frozen in astonishment.
“Is that… true?”
“In all likelihood.”
“How did you get to know about this?”
“From the gatekeeper on the 20th floor. Although I’m not exactly sure if the gatekeeper is also in the know about the issues going around here but… it’s worth doubting.”
The residents who only resided on every 10th floor, who were known to have all the information in the world.
They seemed to be all unrecognizable by their appearances, but at the very least, their information had never been wrong.
Not even once.
Of course, even if the results were accurate, the process was false. This information was not from the gatekeeper, but rather from Su-hyeun’s personal experience.
“So that’s why the number of dungeons appearing lately had been alarming…”