Dokgo Hoo’s voice was so loud that the voice echoed to the deafening level inside the stone room. Vulcan was shocked. Vulcan blocked his ears and complained,
“Big Brother! What was that for!”
- You are pouring out in lengthy detail about some bullcrap, so I thought it was ridiculous.
“What do you mean ridiculous? I was talking to you because I was frustrated and confused. Geez…”
Vulcan still complained.
Dokgo Hoo was seriously mad. His face crumpled.
His semi-transparent body was shaking out of anger. His loud yelling was about to happen once more. At that moment, out of curiosity, Dokgo Hoo tossed a question at Vulcan.
- By any chance, is this the first time you ran into a wall while training?
Having heard what Dokgo Hoo said, Vulcan carefully thought about his past.
With his right hand fiddling with his chin, Vulcan thought about it for a long time. Vulcan slowly said,
“Once…? When we were at the Cursed Underground Graveyard… with Lee Jung-yup… a little bit…”
- You rotten brat! You wrapped Ho-gyeong and Bellon in cabbages and ate them in just two years, yet you have the nerve to complain? Oh my… This brat really is a genius.
Vulcan didn’t know what to say. He just listened.
Dokgo Hoo was also a genius who was praised by everyone at Act 1.
Vulcan was glad to hear Dokgo Hoo say that he was a genius. However, it didn’t look like the situation was right for Vulcan to just say thank you in response.
Silence filled the stone room for a moment.
It was because Dokgo Hoo also didn’t say anything.
About a minute passed.
Looking at Dokgo Hoo, who was floating in the air like a ghost, Vulcan was about to say something to break the uncomfortable silence. However, Dokgo Hoo’s voice could be heard first.
- Do you know Yur Dong-bin?
- Just… do you know him or not!
“Could you stop yelling? I know him, I know! You are talking about the top-notch battle god, right?”
Yur Dong-bin was the top-notch battle god that Dokgo-hoo cursed about in great detail during the last time he was summoned by Vulcan.
During that time, Dokgo Hoo complained like a daughter-in-law complaining about her fate for being relentlessly criticized by the mother-in-law, keeping it fresh in his memory. Vulcan definitely remembered in his brain that Yur Dong-bin was a powerful enlightened god.
- That’s right. Yur Dong-bin. The one I always curse. That bastard. He is one of the top dogs of the Enlightened World. He has a terrible personality, but he is super strong. He is probably around level 900 if we used your metrics.
“Hm. I see.”
- How long do you think he invested to get to where he is?
Vulcan was not able to answer right away.
He can only figure that it must have taken a long time. He couldn’t imagine exactly how long.
‘Still, he must be incredibly talented, so… 200 to 300 years? Perhaps 500 years?’
Vulcan was not confident about the number to actually say it.
It seemed that Dokgo Hoo was not expecting an answer. He promptly said,
- It took him 3700 years, you disgusting brat.
That far exceeded Vulcan’s expectation. Vulcan had a vacant look on his face.
In silence, with a stupid look on his face, Vulcan stared at Dokgo Hoo.
Dokgo Hoo continued.
- You think his training was fun? Maybe he did lots of fun trainings when he was a human. When he became an enlightened god, I’ve heard that he just sat in cross-legged position at the top of a mountain. While other enlightened gods were falling out of exhaustion, he did it for over 3000 years. You get it, you rascal?
- I don’t know exactly what your height is at the moment, but it looks like you are on par with a mid-level enlightened god, am I right?
Vulcan honestly thought he might be able to fight evenly against even the top-notch enlightened gods, but he didn’t say it.
- You didn’t even spend 30 years in swordsmanship and magic, but you are already looking like a mid-level god among the enlightened gods.
- You bastard. Ordinary people in the lower dimensions have tough time just becoming the leader of some warrior clan after training for 30 years like their life depended on it. Do you have any idea how ungrateful you are being right now? You brat!
“Just why are you always ending your sentences with swearing…”
- Just shut up you bastard! You are driving me to madness, fuck.
Dokgo Hoo’s energetic swearing continued while Vulcan stood there like an obedient child.
It wasn’t because of Dokgo Hoo’s swearing.
Dokgo Hoo was a short-tempered man. Despite this, he said many things calmly and even included examples. His warm words of consolations were merely wearing the mask of criticism. Although it was just a little bit, Dokgo Hoo’s words calmed Vulcan’s impatience.
Vulcan decided that he would sit quietly and listen carefully no matter what Dokgo Hoo was going to say.
Dokgo Hoo also didn’t swear anymore.
- Kuhm… Anyway. You need to be more thankful about the talent you have. It seems that you are not getting a feel for it because you don’t have anyone else next to you who are training with you. There are countless people all over who can’t get to an eighth of where you are after training for a hundred years. Do you understand?
“Yes. Thank you for the advice, Big Brother.”
Vulcan promptly bowed to Dokgo Hoo.
Considering how Dokgo Hoo usually was, the long-winded explanation that he just gave was unthinkable.
Because of this, Vulcan was even more thankful, so he showed gratitude from bottom of his heart.
Dokgo Hoo’s face looked like he was thinking that the gratitude was well-deserved. Dokgo Hoo added,
- Well, if this is the first time for you to really run into a wall, I can see why you would get impatient. It’s not like you have a teacher next to you. Just be thankful that you have a magnificent Big Brother like me. HAHAHA!
- From what you said so far, this place is safe anyway, right? It’s not like you are being chased by time like how it was at the Beloong City. So, take time and reflect on things from the past occasionally. Hm… For instance, try training on passive skills you have not used much until now.
“Pardon? Those are not my specialties… I’m really no good at anything except fire and lightning.”
Vulcan was not feigning.
Unlike Lightning and Fire Masteries, which were at SS ranks, his Wind and Earth Masteries were merely at B ranks.
In other words, they were outside of being useful as his main strength.
Vulcan’s excuse was not just an excuse. It was fact. However, Dokgo Hoo retorted impatiently.
- You rascal! When you run into a wall while doing what you had been doing, try other things, got it? Poke on things here and there; that’s how it works! While you are at it, if you go back to what you had been doing afterwards, it could work out again. You get it, you brat? Is it because you’ve never ran into a wall before? You don’t know how to go back to things.
“Hm… If you are in a hurry, then go back…”
- What bullshit are you talking about? You are not even in a hurry.
“… Actually, I am not in a hurry. You are right.”
Watching Vulcan willingly agree, Dokgo Hoo laughed heartily.
- KUHAHA. You are finally recognizing my greatness. How about it? Have you found some respect for your Big Brother?
Vulcan responded with an awkward face.
However, Dokgo Hoo didn’t mind it.
It seemed Dokgo Hoo was not intending to remember all the things he was mad about earlier. He had a refreshed look on his face. He said good bye to Vulcan.
- Well then, I’ll get going now. When you call me again next time, don’t ask me about these useless things.
Like a ghost, he slid toward Kina Kina’s mouth. He shrunk to fit inside Kina Kina’s mouth before adding one last thing to say.
- Also… Next time, instead of summoning the lowest battle god, summon low-rank battle god. I’ll get to that level by then.
With that as the last words, Dokgo Hoo disappeared before even hearing Vulcan’s response.
Dokgo Hoo, who had been speaking in deafeningly loud voice inside the stone room, was now gone. Silence came to fill the air again.
Vulcan, in middle of the silence, slowly lied down on the stone room’s floor and thought about what Dokgo Hoo just told him until now.
‘Actually, it’s not like a definite answer came up.’
What Dokgo Hoo told Vulcan were things that anyone could say.
In summary, Dokgo Hoo told Vulcan that anyone can run into walls, so Vulcan should not worry too much and try everything.
In a way, what he told Vulcan were obvious things.
However, Vulcan didn’t think such an obvious advice could give him this much strength.
Vulcan felt so refreshed inside. He mumbled,
“Could it be that I needed someone to spill my guts out and complain?”
Vulcan was not sure about his own feelings on this matter.
‘Well, it is not important.’
First, Vulcan got up right away. He then brought out the Heavenly Lightning Blade.
He surrounded himself with the Thunder God’s Might. On his left hand, a magic was initiated. It was the kind that he had never used.
The sound was like a rapidly spinning blade.
It was the wind magic.
‘What’s really important is that I want to try again now.’
Vulcan kicked open the door and quickly entered the Lava Cave.
Vulcan’s steps were energetic. The sense of hesitation, anxiety and frustration that he had before talking to Dokgo Hoo was no longer there.
It looked like Vulcan grew up and toughened up a little.
* * *
Again, five years had gone by.
Vulcan’s current level was 787.
His level up speed was significantly slower than before. Still, Vulcan didn’t mind it.
Unless the monsters’ levels increased to match his growth, there was a limit on how much further Vulcan could grow in level.
There was no need for Vulcan to try to level up as if he was on a time attack.
Moreover, thanks to Dokgo Hoo’s advice, Vulcan completely resolved his impatience.
Unlike his first five years at the Lava Cave, where Vulcan focused only on leveling up and repeated hunting, Vulcan had been trying various things as he passed time.
From the dungeon’s walls, floor, and ceiling… From all over the place, large lumps of stones came off and gathered in mid-air.
A collection of boulders was floating in the air. It was gigantic and overwhelming in size.
The collection of boulders changed again.
From the size of a house, the collection became the size of a person, and then to the size of a small animal, and then to the size of a child’s fist.
Although the collection of boulders became small, it was exuding sensation that was even more dangerous than before.
Vulcan had been fighting a Lava Demon that was coming at him relentlessly, and Vulcan completed this process while fighting. He sighed in relief.
‘Phew. As I thought, earth magic is not a good match for me. This is my limit.’
From other people’s standard, Vulcan completed magic very quickly. However, from Vulcan’s standard, he was seriously lacking in speed.
Vulcan judged that further attempts to change the earth magic could only be detrimental to his current situation. He used fire magic, which was his specialty.
He wrapped the tan colored sphere of rocks with compressed Ifrit’s Fist.
Ifrist’s Fist was significantly higher level magic than the earth magic that Vulcan just used. However, the Ifrit’s Fist was completed much faster.
Vulcan finally smiled, satisfied. He kicked the Lava Demon hard.
From the reaction, Vulcan was pushed back to the distance. The Lava Demon was sent to the opposite direction, destroying the ground along the way.
The Lava Demon quickly regained its battle stance. It was about to charge at Vulcan again. Vulcan launched the magic attacks that he spent quite a lot of effort into completing them.
Various types of magic attacks, which were enhanced in rotational power and speed through wind magic, came falling at the Lava Demon. Having sustained significant shock, it fell on its knees.
That was a huge gap in its defense. Vulcan was not going to let this opportunity to just slip by.
Before long, Vulcan got to right in front of the bastard. Vulcan’s blade started to exude golden energy.
[Your experience points went up.]
[You defeated an opponent that is stronger than you!]
[You achieved an exploit.]
[Your exploit points went up.]
“Uuuuaaaa. This is tough. Its destructive power is good, but it’s still too slow.”
Vulcan mumbled as he wiped off the sweat on his forehead.
For the past five years, Vulcan had been diligently following Dokgo Hoo’s advice and training on other types of magic little by little.
However, he didn’t train using just these other types.
Vulcan had been barely managing to fight the monsters using SS ranked lightning and fire magic.
On the other hand, the other types barely got to A rank from five years of training. Fighting the monsters using just the other types was going to be like spinning the wheel.
So, Vulcan had been working hard on using them as the support magic.
They were used to increase the destructive power of the lightning and fire magic.
Of course, Vulcan had not been doing it often. Also, because his understanding of these other types of magic was still not very good, using them for support was not easy.
There were times when Vulcan got seriously discouraged while attempting grandiose magic of these other types.
However, Vulcan came to acknowledge that he was not talented at these other types of magic. He focused on few magic spells that fit him well and were efficient. As of result, he was able to make pretty good magic spells with these other types.
The ‘Destructive Core’ that he just used was one of them.
‘I am still not satisfied with the casting speed, but… I probably will get better as I try it more.’
Vulcan thought about the first time he tried the Destructive Core.
The core sphere was being created at a snail pace. It was so slow that there was no way for him to use it on actual combat. He remembered sighing often from watching it form.
Compared to back then, the casting speed now was the difference between the ground and the sky. Saying that was not an exaggeration.
“Well, I have plenty of time, so let’s keep going at a comfortable pace.”
Vulcan’s mindset was far more relaxed than was before.
The spell’s formation speed was not good enough yet, but an obstacle like this was nothing to him.
Vulcan walked away to find another monster to fight so he could practice the Destructive Core more.
Vulcan was the kind that preferred training through real combat. His plan was to increase the casting speed through continued battle against Lava Demons.
However, something happened that made him stop walking.
The cool and refreshing energy that always had been surrounding Vulcan’s body…
The high end version of Blue Dragon’s Breath had expired and disappeared.
Vulcan felt the sudden emptiness inside. He shook his body and mumbled,
“… It feels like I suddenly took all of my clothes off.”