"I want to invest in you.”
“... What do you mean by that?”
“An investment. Don’t you know what it means? Did you not receive any basic education in your original world?”
“I know what it means. It is just that I’m hearing the word out of blue. It was unexpected.”
Indeed, it was very odd to hear such a word in a place like this. Vulcan had been in living amongst twenty thousand people that were only thinking about finding ways to get stronger. To him, any word not related to combat sounded strange.
Vulcan looked at Jake as if he was trying to say he needed an additional explanation.
“It is as I said earlier. I want to invest in you.”
“Just what exactly are you investing in?”
“Anything. Until now, have you ever thought about the following while you were hunting? For instance, ah, this weapon isn’t quite fitting my hand. This armor is uncomfortable. If I had equipment that fitted me perfectly, I think I will be able to level up faster, and so on. I bet you have many items that you want to have but have not had the money and time to get them. I could help you on that.”
“What do you have to gain from helping me?”
“All of the items you get from hunting.”
“… You call that an investment? It is a highway robbery. I’ll be going now.”
Vulcan shook his head left and right.
No matter how young or inexperienced Vulcan appeared to be to Jake, Vulcan did not expect that Jake would to try to scam him in such an obvious manner right in his face.
Vulcan was disappointed in Jake. He thought that they were pretty close, but to know Jake would do something like this to him made Vulcan disappointed in Jake. Vulcan pushed the chair to the back to get up.
“Vulcan, you really do want to clear Act 1, right?”
“… Yes. Is there a problem?”
“If that’s the case, please sit for a while. I will explain why my proposal is beneficial to you.”
At the moment, Vulcan wasn’t quite standing up, and he wasn’t quite sitting down either. After hearing Jake, Vulcan decided to put his butt down the chair. Jake finished what’s left of the Whiskey and tossed a question toward Vulcan.
“You don’t plan to live here, right?”
“What’s that? Of course. I am going to go back to my home world.”
Vulcan wanted to go back to his home world. For eight years, he has not seen his family, friends or the familiar sight on Korea. It had been too long since he last set foot on his home land.
Memories of Earth, instead of fading, they became clearer and got stuck in Vulcan’s head like photographs.
“If that’s the case, you must want to clear Act 1 as fast as possible. I presume you would even pay money if that could get you to beat it faster.”
“Of course. I am sick of this place. I want to leave as soon as possible even if it is a day sooner.”
“If that’s the case, do I still need to explain more?”
“What do you mean?”
Jake pointed toward Vulcan who was still looking confused.
“You are planning on leaving this place anyway. To you, Asgard’s currency or items that do not match your class are useless. So you should give them to me, and…”
Now, Jake pointed toward himself.
“As for my end, I will give you the time that you desperately need. Through the investment that is.”
“When you say you will give me the time…”
“I am talking about the time you would be wasting while looking for the items you need. There is also the time you would be wasting because you would hunt with lack-luster equipment.”
Jake smiled big as he said,
“I can eliminate those wasted time for you.”
* * *
[Grand Weapon – Strengthened Lightning Blade]
[Level Restriction: 190Lv]
[Grand Armor – A Giant Orc’s Chainmail]
[Level Restriction: 185Lv]
[Legendary Armor – Crazy Flame Boots]
[Level Restriction: 188Lv]
Vulcan’s jaw dropped after replacing all of his equipment to Grand level and above. Although the equipment were mismatched in design and style, and they made Vulcan look ridiculous, appearance was a trivial matter to him.
Vulcan opened his stat screen and checked his attack and defense, and soon his face was filled with shock.
His stats were far superior in comparison to before. Vulcan almost felt sorry to even compare them.
‘This must be why people spent real money on video games to get better equipment…’
Vulcan thought that when it came to video games, the fun was in procuring equipment through effort. He now realized that he was mistaken.
Now that Vulcan got to experience achieving a substantial upgrade in his specs without breaking a sweat, his entire body was filling up with sensations of incredible satisfaction and excitement that he never felt before.
“How are they? Do you like them?”
“Yes. Definitely… I really like them.”
“Haha. It is too early for you to be so surprised.”
Jake pointed his finger toward somewhere. Vulcan’s eyes, which were following his lead, opened wide in surprise.
“The…. These are…”
Without realizing, Vulcan walked toward where Jake was pointing to. There were blades and armors neatly arranged together in matching types and displayed neatly like in a mall.
“Level restriction 250, 300, 350… and up to 450… they are all here.”
There were more than just one or two sets of equipment per level. There were armors specializing in fire or lightning elements, and there were four different types of armors for level 350.
This meant that Vulcan didn’t have to worry about items until level 500.
With a dumbfounded face, Vulcan looked at Jake.
“These… Are you going to give me all of these?”
“You rascal! What are you talking about!”
Jake brought out a cigarette and put it on his mouth as he continued.
“I am lending them to you. In return, whenever you visit the town, give me items you do not need right away. Huhu.”
Although Jake said he is lending them to Vulcan, since he didn’t specify a return date, calling it ‘giving’ would not have been wrong.
“These… I really cannot refuse these. All right, Mr. Jake. From now on, I will hand over to you all items I get from hunting.”
“HoHo. If you get items that are better than these, you don’t need to give them to me. You should be using them instead.”
“Okay. By the way…”
“What is it?”
“I am wondering if you do a lot of investments like this?”
Jake took a moment and exhaled the smoke. Jake received the question with a face as if he was trying to say that what Vulcan asked was a nonsense.
“Not at all. It is not like I have unlimited resources, and it is hard to find someone who would be profitable to invest in. It had been 10 years since my last investment.”
“Why? Are you wondering why I’m investing in you, of all people?”
“It would be a lie if I said I am not wondering about that.”
Actually, Vulcan was curious. There were so many others who had proven themselves with higher levels and more combat experiences. On the other hand, All Vulcan accomplished so far was beating a low 300 leveler. Still, he was chosen.
“First of all, I chose you because you are trustworthy. If you don’t hold up your end of your bargain, I can just go see the old man Beruneru. You said you trained under Beruneru right?”
Certainly, Jake did not have to worry about getting scammed.
“Also, the second reason is the most important part.”
Jake looked at Vulcan with a serious face and said,
“It is because when you are the one doing the hunting, more items come out.”
“… Please come again?”
“I am saying you get better items when a Player is the one doing the hunting!”
‘When other people hunt monsters, they don’t get items like when Players do!’
It was a very logical choice. Only Players got items appear in midair and drop after hunting monsters.
“That makes sense… Since that’s the case, how do people from other dimensions get items? How have they been doing it until now?”
“Obviously, monsters are wielding weapons and armors, so people picked them up after slaying the monsters. However, they are usually not great in quality. Also, even when it is something pretty nice, it is usually damaged all over from the battle… Anyway, so from my perspective, Players are the best ones to invest in.”
Jake interrupted himself and patted Vulcan’s shoulder.
“Until now, there weren’t any Players I could invest in because their levels were low, so I feel like a golden goose just dropped from the sky. I also like that you kicked Uruo’s ass.”
“Are you not in good terms with Uruo?”
“Of course. I was actually going to invest in him… but he decided to suck up to Lee JungYup instead. When I heard that you broke Uruo, it made me feel so much better. Why didn’t you just kill him?”
Vulcan, with a face showing uneasiness, responded,
“I was going to, but Lee JungYup stopped me.”
“Huh. Looks like Uruo certainly got the bribe’s worth. By the way, you… how come you are still here?”
“What do you mean?”
“You said you had a confrontation with Lee JungYup. How come you are still alive?”
“He certainly was powerful… but am I not supposed to be alive?”
As Vulcan cringed, Jake patted his back and said,
“That’s not what I mean. I am not saying you are supposed to be dead. I am asking because Lee JungYup is an incredibly powerful man.”
“Why are you saying that? Just how powerful is he?”
“Beloong City is a place where the strongest of the strongest gather. In this place, he is counted as one of the top ten.”
Shocked, Vulcan asked,
“No way. Doesn’t that mean he is at Mr. Filder’s level?”
“Ah, I am not counting the Six. Those people are beyond comparison.”
Even so, it was still incredible.
Hearing this made Vulcan feel fortunate that a fight didn’t break out back then with Lee JungYup, but the thought also became a sharp stick that wounded Vulcan’s pride.
However, Vulcan had a good excuse.
It was a problem that Vulcan believed he could resolve quickly. He thought so two days ago, and he still believed so even now.
‘I don’t believe I am lower than him. As long as I take care of the level problem…’
Vulcan was thinking that once he gained levels, he will gain power, the kind of power that would allow him to never bother to mind about Lee JungYup or the Players Alliance.
Vulcan’s eyes gleamed toward Jake. Startled, Jake took a step back. Vulcan asked,
“You are curious about how I survived, right?”
“Uh? Yes. Honestly, yes I am. Why? Are you going to show me your skill?”
“I would like to. You are my investor, so I have a need to impress you as well. I will most certainly show you the level of my skills.”
Listening to Vulcan’s confident words made Jake laugh out in an exhilarating way.
Other people passing by looked at Jake, wondering if something happened.
“Haha. That’s how it should be. Right! As an investor, I do have a need to see what you are made of! It is late today, so let’s get going early tomorrow. How about meeting at the west gate at 8 am?”
“Um? Why the west gate?”
“What I’m saying is, is there a particular reason why you have to meet me at the west gate? Is there somewhere you need to stop by before?”
“To go to Orc’s Colony, you should go to the west gate. Did you confuse the place?”
Jake thought that Vulcan, who is currently level 190, would be going to the 200 level Orc’s Colony. However, Vulcan had no intention of going there.
“No. Let’s meet at the south gate. Also, at 7 instead of 8.”
“Um? O… okay. Looks like I will have to get up early.”
‘Why is this guy keep saying he wants to meet on the south gate?’
Dumbfounded, Jake murmured by himself.
* * *
“Magic Mirror. Fire Wall. Fire Shower.”
A cylindrical shaped wall of flame appeared on the south gate side’s greenfield.
The cylindrical wall of flame reached the height over 30 feet, perfectly surrounding the two monsters inside. Moreover, the Fire Shower looming above presented them with gruesome pain.
“Lightning. Lightning. Infinite Flame Orb.”
Not able to withstand the pain, the twin-headed ogres were trying to jump out, but Vulcan pointed his blade toward them. Two lightning bolts launched from his blade robbed the monsters of their minds, and bombardment from multiple rounds of Infinite Flame Orbs followed.
The twin-headed ogres were pushed back toward the center of the flames, and they were screaming in pain.
“Huu. As expected of high level monsters. I leveled up even though I hunted only two.”
Vulcan disengaged the Fire Wall which was still burning in full force.
Because Vulcan used the Magic Mirror to isolate the battle area from the world, there were no other monsters that heard the battle and came toward him from the nearby area.
Vulcan approached the dead bodies of the twin-headed ogres, which were well roasted from the flames, and picked up the items. The items were going to be handed over to Jake, but Vulcan was in a pretty good mood because he just gained a lot of experiences.
With a smiley face, Vulcan took care of the cleanup and looked toward Jake.
“What do you think? Are you happy with the investment?”
“… You were far more amazing than I ever thought!”