BOOM. BOOM. BOOM.
Sounds of heavy pounding, like a hammer striking down on a sturdy ore.
Little wild animals fled in all directions, frightened by the loud noise.
One by one, large trees fell with a thump sound.
There were two men working hard cutting down trees, they were Vulcan and Dokgo Hoo, fully focused on the training.
“Son of a bee~ this one is ridiculously hard. It’s just a tree. How could it be so strong? What has it been eating?”
Dokgo Hoo complained as he wiped off the sweats flowing like rain.
Vulcan too was thinking the same thing as he listened to Dokgo Hoo.
Ever since the day the two heard the speech from Filder, they were training against trees as their opponent for over ten days.
Vulcan and Dokgo Hoo had mixed feelings of embarrassment and resolve since hearing Filder’s wake-up call advice. The two worked hard on blade strikes even though there was nobody checking in on them.
Sparing very little time for sleep, they devoted their time to swinging weapons and casting magic toward trees.
It had been a few hours since.
An odd mood filled the training ground. That is, Vulcan and Dokgo Hoo formed a competitive practice.
Just as Vulcan was about to sit down, thinking he should take a break, he could instead hear Dokgo Hoo’s battle cries.
It had sounded like the tone of his voice had gotten louder, and it also felt like he was laughing at Vulcan.
Vulcan began to think that sitting idle meant defeat, so he straightened his back and continued to train with even louder battle cries.
The same thing happened when Dokgo Hoo was about to take a break. Noticing Vulcan’s faint smile directed at him, Dokgo Hoo threw away the thought of letting go of the sword.
The one to take a break first would be the loser!
In this strange duel, day and night switched places several times.
However, there was no such a thing as an endless duel. In the end, Dokgo Hoo sat down where he initially stood and he started to express his defeat.
“Ohhhhhh, I can’t do it anymore. And you, what kind of a brat never gets tired? Are you even human?”
“I was just born with relatively good stamina.”
It was bullshit.
With the SYSTEM’s help, a player does not need to physically take out a potion and drink it by mouth.
A mere thought of using it automatically brought about the same effect, and Vulcan had already consumed a bottle of stamina potion using this method without Dokgo Hoo ever realizing.
Vulcan, with a smile on his face, looked at Dokgo Hoo.
Dokgo Hoo made some noise expressing his exhaustion and quickly turned his head away.
“Mr. Vulcan, you have been working hard! It appears Mr. Dokgo Hoo is working while taking breaks here and there?”
Filder appeared among the clearcut woods.
With a wrongfully accused expression on his face, Dokgo Hoo immediately stood up and explained himself.
“No, I was training until now without sleep or food, but then I got cramps on my muscles for a moment……”
“I was just kidding. I am aware that you didn’t take any breaks until now.”
Hearing Filder’s tactless words turned Dokgo Hoo’s face red, but he didn’t do anything like expressing his anger.
‘After what happened last time, there is no way he is going to do it again.’
The power of Filder, the doctor of rectifying anger issues, could be felt.
“Mr. Dokgo Hoo, may I see your wrist for a moment?”
Filder the healer said to Dokgo Hoo.
Dokgo Hoo was about to say something, but then decided not to after looking at Filder.
It was because Filder looked very serious and sincere.
For those who learned martial arts, giving someone their wrists meant handing over the control of their body. Essentialy, it meant handing over their life.
Because of this, what Filder requested could be considered extremely rude. However, because Filder’s expression clearly showed that there was no ill intention, Dokgo Hoo lifted his left hand willingly.
Filder grabbed Dokgo Hoo’s wrist, which was thick like a piece of log, and said,
“Mr. Dokgo Hoo, I’m going to start sending in concentrated energy to your internals. It is compatible with Tiger King Technique’s concentrated energy, so please do not reject it and trust me. Also, remember the flow of the power.”
Filder sent concentrated energy without giving Dokgo Hoo a chance to speak.
The power originating from within Filder moved through Dokgo Hoo’s entire blood circulation system as if the bloodstream was its own home, but Dokgo Hoo couldn’t do anything.
The situation was that someone else’s energy has invaded deep inside his body. If anybody did anything wrong, it could cripple him most likely.
Blood vein bulked up on Dokgo Hoo’s temple.
Dokgo Hoo thought Filder was just going to check the body’s status, not use it like his own.
‘This little bastard… I treated you a little well out of respect for having higher level than me, but putting me through a disgrace like this? Once he lets go of me…. Once he does… huh?’
Dokgo Hoo was giving Filder a look with murderous intent, but now his eyes was filled with a completely different light.
This was due to the amazing effiency of flowing energy from Filder to Dokgo Hoo.
The energy movement was not too different from the Tiger King Technique, but the energy was flowing in directions, speed and wayst hat he never thought of once, and Dokgo Hoo was strongly intrigued by it all.
Filder’s energy finally exited Dokgo Hoo’s body after going around his entire blood circulatory system three times.
Even after Filder released his hand and moved back to where he was previously, Dokgo Hoo was still standing motionless as if he grew roots on the ground.
‘This is…… How could such a method……!’
Dokgo Hoo was astonished and terrified.
Filder’s internal energy operation method was so innovaative that Dokgo Hoo could never had thought of.
Overall, the modifications were minimal, about five percent or less.
However, he had to admit that the improvement was far beyond comparison from the original state.
This year marked the year that Dokgo Hoo lived to be 60 years.
Over the years, he experienced numerous martial art techniques, and several times he fought head-on with priestesses and Shaolin martial artists that were considered to be the best, but he never once thought his Tiger-King Technique were lacking.
Dokgo Hoo was proud of his internal energy technique’s completeness, yet to think that Filder improved it so much, Dokgo Hoo felt for the first time that there is another sky above the sky.
The memories of the past went through Dokgo Hoo’s head.
He could see his old self, lacking in many ways, swinging a sword.
His head started to fill with examinations of mistakes that he did not notice before, and ways of improvement also came up automatically.
Over his already advanced martial art technique, new enlightenment was being layered on again and again……
All of these were becoming fertilizers to elevate Dokgo Hoo to a new dimension.
He could not think straight from a storm of enlightenment rushing at him.
The wide and deep world of martial art was also welcoming Dokgo Hoo.
Dokgo Hoo’s appearance was anything but ordinary.
The blue light energy lingering around Dokgo Hoo entered through his nose and exited by his mouth, repeating.
Above his head were energy blades of strange shapes. Clumped together and invoking a strange sensation, they made it feel like the ‘moment of enlightenment’, that martial artists often speak of, had arrived.
The moment of enlightenment that makes an ordinary soldier into a knight and an ordinary knight into a fighter that represents a kingdom.
This was a moment that anyone who stepped into the path of martial art could never refuse, and this moment had arrived to a martial artist of absolute power, Dokgo Hoo.
Looking at Dokgo Hoo in such a moment, Vulcan’s face filled with envy.
‘I can’t even get a feel for how much stronger he will become……’
There was one time in Rubel continent where a similar incident occurred.
When Vulcan was at level 45, a common mercenary who was forming a party to hunt the southern jungle’s monsters.
Vulcan experienced ‘the moment of enlightenment’ when he slew the boss monster Giant Arachnid, and after practicing sword dance for about a day, he became level 67.
From just the level of skilled mercenary, his ability rose to that of someone worthy of becoming the leader of a small country’s knights.
After that incident, Vulcan hoped and wondered if good fortune like that would ever come across again. For a while, every time before going to sleep, he attempted to reach the moment of enlightenment, hoping for another explosive level-up.
However, hoping was just that, hoping.
Vulcan had long since folded any hopes for such a thing.
Since the beginning, he didn’t become a magic swordsman because he was talented at swordsmanship and lightning & flame magic, he was using skills that were automatically acquired from the power called the SYSTEM which allowed him to increase his mastery like a machine.
‘Let alone enlightenment, it is hard as it is to understand the skills I have.’
The moment of enlightenment was something that Vulcan wished for long ago, but it was happening to someone right beside him, and that made him feel disappointed.
Vulcan scanned Dokgo Hoo’s level.
[Third-rate Swordsman Dokgo Hoo]
His level, which was 92 only a moment ago, had already rose up to 104.
As for Vulcan himself, he was up by only one from level 99, now level 100, and that was from cutting down numerous Max Level trees with an average level of 130. It was not worth to compare the progress that Dokgo Hoo had obtained.
Vulcan oberserved Dokgo Hoo, who was lost in the world of his conciousness, not being able to notice anything around him.
This could not be the end.
It was very likely that by the time the moment of enlightenment completely passes, Dokgo Hoo would be far stronger than level 104.
Vulcan felt a bitter taste in his mouth.
However, he eased his hardened facial expression and directed his sight to Filder.
Filder was scattering pebbles around Dokgo Hoo, who was standing defenseless. Most likely, it was a way to protect Dokgo Hoo.
When Filder put down the last pebble as he murmured a few words, a translucent layer surrounding Dokgo Hoo’s vicinity had appeared.
Filder straightened his back and made a big stretch, and Vulcan continued staring at Filder.
In middle of massaging his back with gentle strikes with his hand, Filder looked at Vulcan with face full of questions.
“What is it?”
Filder’s question, ‘What is it?’, made Vulcan at lost for words.
‘Hurry up and make me become stronger like him! But I can’t just tell him that.’
Vulcan thought that since Filder bestowed Dokgo Hoo with a teaching of immense value, maybe Filder would also give Vulcan some kind method to breakthrough?
Afterall, Filder promised before that he would allow them to quickly reclaim their diminished pride.
Surely, Filder was going to show Vulcan a shortcut that is perfect for Vulcan who is a ‘player.’
Vulcan looked at Filder with eyes filled of expectation.
At the sight of Vulcan’s uncomfortable gaze, Filder pointed his finger somewhere.
And that somewhere was……
“What are you doing? Continue doing it.”
There stood Max Level trees.