Vulcan’s group have arrived at the west island.
Leaving the airport, they walked along the path, but they ran into a turning point. It even had a post explaining what each path leads to. Looking at the post, Tolcas said,
“I’ll be going to the rocky field. Is anyone interested in going there?”
“Um… By any chance, are you here to hunt the west island’s giant?”
Elcane, the dark elf, asked respectfully. Tolcas responded to his question.
“That’s right. I need to do at least that much to call it an achievement.”
Tolcas said it casually as if it was normal. Looking at Tolcas, Elcane was surprised.
The rocky field was one of the two biggest hunting grounds in the west island. Most of monsters there were not very powerful, but the rock giant, the boss monster, was a powerful bastard that even warriors in Act 2 who are considered as highly skilled were hesitant to fight.
There were even rumors about somewhat famous Dragonians that attempted to fight the rock giant and had to run with tails between their legs without getting anything in return.
Tolcas was talking about hunting the rock giant as if it was a chore dealing with pulling out a few weeds from the ground. It seemed Tolcas had rock solid balls.
“I’ll follow you, Mr. Tolcas.”
“Really? Did you have a business in that place?”
“That is not the case, but…”
Elcane blurred the end of the sentence.
His original plan was to hunt the monsters in the forest area and find useful herbs. On an impulse, he changed his mind.
It was because he wanted to see Tolcas in battle.
‘It’s hard to meet a demi-god as powerful as him. It would be a good experience.’
“Well, it doesn’t matter. Well then, El…”
“I see. Elcane.”
Tolcas greeted Elcane with a smile.
Having set their destination, they said their goodbyes to Vulcan and Phantaero.
After Tolcas finished exchanging goodbyes, Elcane, who was staring at Vulcan, said,
“What I said when I first met you, I apologize. You are powerful enough to be on the airship.”
“… I see.”
Elcane’s awkward apology.
Vulcan was not expecting him to apologize, so he replied with simple words, awkwardly.
With those words as the end, the two left the scene.
Watching Tolcas and Elcane slowly walking away, Vulcan said,
“I thought he wouldn’t because of pride, but he apologized.”
“Although they look down on humans a little, they respect skilled warriors. Actually, I also thought you were just being prideful at first.”
“Even so, my world’s fate is on my shoulders. I didn’t come here without confidence in myself.”
“Of course. A brave hero needs to know that his life is important! Although you are not a brave hero.”
Phantaero changed the subject.
“So, where are you headed? If it is about lightning magic… Forest area? If you burn them all with lightning, I think that would work.”
Vulcan shook his head.
What Phantaero said was true, and the forest area was also marked in Vulcan’s guidebook as the must-have course. However, there was something else that Vulcan had to attend to before that.
“I was thinking about going to see someone named Blue Dragon.”
Having heard what Vulcan said, Phantaero was shocked.
“What? How do you know that person?”
“I heard from the pub.”
Vulcan answered roughly. As if he understood, Phantaero said,
“Ah, I see. However, do you have anything you can trade with him?”
“I have some things I collected from Act 1.”
“Haha. Those marbles things are useless for humans. You said there weren’t any god-beasts or demon-beasts, right? It seems like they collected them all in your city.”
“We wondered if it might be good for something. I’m glad that I got to use it like this.”
Having said this much, Vulcan looked at Phantaero.
“By the way, Mr. Phantaero, you seem to be very interested in this. By any chance…”
“That’s right. I’m here for the same goal.”
Phantaero smiled big toward Vulcan and added,
“Looks like I won’t be bored along the way. Let’s go to see the Blue Dragon.”
* * *
Fundamentally, God-beasts or demon-beasts required very long time to reach new heights.
Far longer than high-monks doing training while facing walls, those beings, without resting, trained their mind and body.
Also, when their work reached a certain height, they were able to emerge from the shell of their former selves and become true gods.
However, there was one thing that helped them reach the height a little faster.
Once in a while, when an incredibly powerful monster got slayed and its stomach gutted, the marble of vitality could be obtained. It was like a recovery medicine made specially for god-beasts to help them recover and reach the height faster.
“If you think about it, he is a unique one. Other god-beasts hunt monsters themselves and collect the marbles. It’s hard to think about getting these marbles in exchange for lending god’s power.”
“… It sounds a little shady for a god-beast, but it certainly is a good method.”
“Right? Ever since the Blue Dragon started this, a few others started too, but there isn’t anyone that profited from it as much as he had, so… People come here often the most.”
When a store did well, there were others that mimicked the store, but they can’t beat the original.
Judging from Phantaero’s explanation, it seemed that was still the case in Act 2.
“Mr. Phantaero, what do you plan to get as the reward?”
“Um, the most usual kind of reward. The Blue Dragon’s breath.”
“The Blue Dragon’s breath?”
“Ah, you don’t know? To put it simply, you can think of it as a boost. Attack power, defensive power, recovery rate, speed, etc. All abilities are enhanced. Depending on the amount of vitality marbles, I heard that some people have gotten so strong that they almost became someone else.”
He snorted and said in a serious tone,
“With the Blue Dragon’s Breath on my back, I plan to really go look for the holy sword.”
Phantaero sounded serious. It even exuded a sense of determination and bravery.
Vulcan asked carefully,
“The holy sword must be somewhere very dangerous.”
“I don’t know where it is exactly. However, the places that might have it are all difficult for me to handle.”
“… I hope you will obtain what you want.”
Vulcan said with a serious face.
Phantaero also looked at Vulcan with a serious look.
A moment of silence had past, and Phantaero changed the atmosphere with his bright tone of voice.
“Haha. I’m sorry. I try not to, but I get too serious sometimes. If other brave warriors do this, just stop them right away. Well, other brave warriors beside me are mostly dead.”
“You sure talk casually about something so serious.”
“Did I? I’m sorry. By the way, what kind of reward do you want?”
“Hm, I don’t know for certain. I was going to decide that after consulting the Blue Dragon.”
Having heard what Vulcan said, Phantaero cringed.
“What? Were you expecting the Blue Dragon to do a custom service just for you?”
“Hm, I think you are expecting too much…”
Phantaero shook his head left and right and said,
“Unless you bring him the amount or quality to satisfy the Blue Dragon, you may get banned, or you will be sent to his pupil instead. That’s what I’ve heard.”
“It’s all right. I think I have enough to meet him at least.”
“Huh, oh my. Even if you gathered them from Act 1, they are probably lacking in quality…”
Phantaero thought Vulcan was full of air.
However, he didn’t say that out loud to spoil Vulcan’s mood.
‘He will realize it once he gets there.’
Having thought this, Phantaero casually changed the subject to something else.
Phantaero brought up all sorts of useless topics.
Vulcan also brought up conversation worthy topics.
However, he had a pretty good idea why Phantero changed the subject.
‘He can’t understand why a newbie, who doesn’t have much, is so confident.’
Vulcan didn’t bother showing off the number of vitality marbles that he had.
Phantero was going to realize it once he got there.
* * *
“This is not enough.”
It was a very machine-like and business-like tone.
A fox-demon, the one tending the counter, looked at the customer with a cold look.
“Kuk. This isn’t enough…”
“Yes. If you will be okay with me giving you the reward, I could.”
“Ah… You can give me something like the Blue Dragon’s breath?”
“I’m far inferior to the master. If the boost is what you want… You can maintain this much for one year.”
The fox-demon brought her palm toward her lips.
With a smooch sound, she opened her palm toward the customer, and pink-colored energy surrounded the man’s entire body.
The man felt a mysterious power surging up through his body. Impressed, he tried making and opening his fists.
‘This is not bad!’
His body definitely felt lighter than before.
However, the boost’s duration was very short.
Disappointed, the man sighed. The fox-demon said to the man,
“Will you deal with this? As I said earlier, it will last for one year.”
“I will. Of course I will.”
The fox-demon consumed the vitality marbles inside the bag.
Feeling the power filling up inside her, she moaned seductively.
The man who handed her the bag panicked and took a few steps back.
A few seconds had passed. Pink-colored energy that came out of the fox-demon’s mouth surrounded the man’s entire body.
The fox-demon’s energy gradually got absorbed into the man’s body.
“It’s complete. Please have a safe journey back.”
The fox-demon, returning to her business attitude again, called for the next customer.
With proud steps, Phantaero walked toward the counter.
Meanwhile, Vulcan looked at the fox-demon.
‘She is pretty.’
She had voluptuous breasts and tiny waist.
She had the allure of a beautiful women in late 20s.
Power to mesmerize people could be felt from her nine tails waving in he air.
However, she didn’t seem to be in good health.
Perhaps it was due to the vitality marbles, her appearance seemed lively. However, she seemed exhausted somehow.
She made Vulcan think of a working girl who pulled night shifts two nights in a row.
[Demon-beast Fox-demon, Ryur-ryul]
‘It looks like there really are a lot of people coming to see the Blue Dragon.’
Vulcan figured she is exhausted from having had to meet the customers without taking breaks. Vulcan asked Phantaero,
“Will you be going first?”
“Um, should I?”
‘If Vulcan went first and gets rejected, it would be awkward for him to wait while I do my dealing…’
Phantaero went first because he was trying to be considerate to Vulcan.
Phantaero, with a confident look, untied a pouch from his waist.
It had a space expansion magic cast on.
With an emotionless face, the fox-demon said to Phantaero,
“Please pour them out.”
“Um, I have a lot, so they would be too much to pour out here.”
“In that case, I’ll bring a box. Is that one big enough?”
The fox-demon used her tail to point at a box.
It was big enough to squeeze in an adult man.
Phantaero brought the box himself and poured the vitality marbles from the pouch.
At an instant, the box became almost full of marbles.
Most of them was about the size of a plum, but there were a few apple sized ones here and there.
The fox-demon’s eyes were beaming.
“What do you think? With this much, the Blue Dragon himself will give me the breath himself, right?”
“… Certainly, yes. You must have worked very hard to gather them all.”
“Haha, it was pretty hard. Now, please call the Blue Dragon.”
“All right. Please wait…”
She put her hand between her breast and brought out a clear orb. She tossed the orb to the floor.
The orb, which was rolling, eventually stopped, and it exuded blue light as it gradually turned into a form of human.
A moment later, the Blue Dragon made an entrance.
He was an old man dressed much like Baek Ja-gyeong from Act 1.
[God-beast Blue Dragon, Blue Wind]
Vulcan was not surprised about the level.
From what Haywood said, even 700 years ago, he was around the same level as The Six.
However, Vulcan was a little disappointed that he didn’t get to see the magnificent look of a dragon.
‘I was hoping he would show up in his dragon form, not human form.’
The Blue Dragon didn’t care if Vulcan was disappointed or not. With a gentle look on his face, he glanced at the vitality marbles in the box and looked at Phantaero.
“20 years worth of breath as the reward, do you accept?”
“Uh… Is that what…”
“This is what you get.”
The Blue Dragon pointed at Phantaero and exuded power.
Phantaero received the Blue Dragon’s Breath before he had time to even think about refusing. Phantaero was shocked.
However, he soon realized his power had increased significantly. With a surprised look on his face, he looked around his body.
Vulcan also scanned Phantaero.
He figured he would be able to determine the changes.
[Hegatus’ brave hero, Phantaero]
‘Ridiculous. It is not a temporary boost. It will last for 20 years, yet…’
It was too great of boost to be something that was to last 20 years.
Vulcan was not the only one that was shocked.
Phantaero, who was experiencing the Blue Dragon’s Breath, could not close his dropped jaw.
“What do you think? Do you accept?”
The Blue Dragon, having retrieved the power, asked again briefly.
Phantaero thought about it hard for a moment and said,
“Excuse me… If you could give me the best quality, what would be the duration?”
“I can’t give you the best quality with these vitality marbles. The kind of power being used for the reward is at a whole another dimension.”
“In that case… I understand. I’ll accept this one.”
The Blue Dragon was talking like a stingy old man. Watching the Blue Dragon, Vulcan complained inside.
He had high hopes for the Blue Dragon because he was supposed to be a holy being. However, it seemed the Blue Dragon was more exploitive than Jake.
‘Ah, I think it would be frusturating if he acts like that with me.’
Vulcan lightly furrowed his brow.
While Vulcan was thinking about all this, Phantaero and the Blue Dragon’s trade was completed.
It seemed Phantaero was a little disappointed that he didn’t get the best quality. Still, he looked satisfied to some extent.
The Blue Dragon also seemed satisfied for having acquired a large quantity of quality vitality marbles. He was about to leave.
Of course, Vulcan was not going to just sit and watch him leave.
“Excuse me, please wait, Sir Blue Dragon!”
The Blue Dragon casually turned his head and looked at Vulcan.
Having confirmed the shining mark on Vulcan’s forehead, the Blue Dragon cringed big.
Vulcan added in a hurry,
“I have a lot! Really! Please don’t get mad. Please, for a moment, just for a moment!”