The Blue Dragon’s Breath had been with Vulcan for the past 20 years.
Because he had it for so long, he could not remember very well about how he was before acquiring the Blue Dragon’s Breath. Because Vulcan had it for so long and was accustomed to it, having it suddenly disappear like that made him feel empty. The sense of loss was more significant than he thought.
Vulcan stood at the spot and thought hard about it for a moment.
‘I have plenty of the Vitality Marbles. They should be enough to pay for high quality version of the Blue Dragon’s Breath… but do I really need it now?’
For leveling up, it could be said that the Blue Dragon’s Breath, which gave Vulcan 30 levels’ worth of stats boost, was critical.
It was because Vulcan could hunt faster and longer as much as the improved stats allowed.
However, when it came to the subject of training, the importance of the Blue Dragon’s Breath became questionable.
Vulcan honestly thought that it would only get in the way of training and could not possibly help.
‘Now that I think about it, it sure is. I’m not trying to level up; I’m training. I have no need to train with loads of boosters attached to me. It’s not like I can’t fight a one on one battle without the booster either.’
While thinking, Vulcan was activating and deactivating the Thunder God’s Blade technique repeatedly out of habit.
His moment deep in thought with his head down didn’t last long. He started to walk and thought,
‘That’s right. It’s not like I really need it at the moment. Although it is only a little bit, I can save the Vitality Marbles too. So… I’ll just use them later. I should be all right if I used it just before the boss room.’
Vulcan, with an upbeat attitude, came to the conclusion. With a lightened mind, Vulcan started training.
Again, the sound of earth shaking spread through the dungeon, and countless Lava Demon Forces disappeared after becoming Vulcan’s experience points.
Like that, time passed, and a month later…
Vulcan was still practicing the Destructive Core, a multi-elemental magic spell. The casting speed was still not on par with his goal, so Vulcan had a rather unsatisfied look on his face.
Vulcan supplemented himself with a mana potion and mumbled quietly,
“I think I’ll have to do this for a few more years before I can see results. Ugh, this is tough.”
Although Vulcan was complaining with words, his body was already looking for the next opponent.
He had the attitude of a perfect training maniac. He didn’t slack off in training.
It looked like he was not going to stop for five or even ten years unless someone came to stop him.
However, there was an existence that broke Vulcan’s highly focused training.
Vulcan had the beast bird Kina Kina hanging on his waist just in case so he could summon an Enlightened God quickly during emergencies.
Kina Kina was one noisy brat, but it was just a wooden doll unless mana was injected to it. However, the bird started to wake up on its own.
Flap flap. Flap flap flap.
“What is this?”
Kina Kina flapped its wings around and greeted Vulcan, taking him by surprise. Vulcan mumbled words that were not directed at the bird.
However, Kina Kina thought what Vulcan just said was directed at it, so Kina Kina answered,
“Hello! It’s my Master! You! He wants to see you!”
“What? Blue Wind the Blue Dragon wants to-?”
“Soon! Yes! He is coming…”
Kina Kina was chirping away loudly, but suddenly froze as if it was struck by a lightning.
It then opened its mouth wide and started to pour out chilling blue light into the surroundings.
Blue Wind the Blue Dragon showed himself in the air like a hologram projection.
He looked majestic. Facing the Blue Dragon, Vulcan greeted him with a surprised look on the face.
“Uh, um. How do you do?”
Blue Wind the Blue Dragon was looking at Vulcan with an emotionless face.
Actually, his expression was not completely emotionless.
There was one spoonful’s worth of dissatisfaction there which could be found only after careful observation.
It was cast on the Blue Dragon’s face.
“… Is there something bothering you?”
Vulcan shriveled, so he asked carefully.
Although he had done nothing wrong, Vulcan chose to crawl on the ground already. Looking at Vulcan acting like that, Blue Wind said slowly,
“Why aren’t you renewing the contract for the Blue Dragon’s Breath?”
“… Are you here just for that?”
With a dumbfounded face, Vulcan looked at Blue Wind’s face.
‘Really? How could a God Beast be like this?
Moreover, he is not an ordinary God Beast. He is an extremely powerful one who is level 997.’
Someone so powerful and great had come all the way to visit Vulcan like a door to door salesman. Watching Blue Wind acting like this, Vulcan barely managed to stop himself from bursting into laugher.
However, Blue Wind looked serious.
Having heard what Vulcan said, Blue Wind said with a bit of anger mixed in,
“Just for that? You dare to speak that way when you know that there is nothing more important than Vitality Marbles to God Beasts!?”
“Ah, that’s not what I’m saying…”
“Also, even before 20 years ago, you were the brat who had a mountain worth of Vitality Marbles piled up, yet you have not thought about using the marbles ever since you received your first Blue Dragon’s Breath. Do you think the situation warrants me to just sit still? Have we not made a contract?”
“We did make a contract… but I said I’ll use it only when I need it, didn’t I…”
“So, when are you going to need it? If you are not going to need it through your entire life, then you will end up having the marbles piled up for the rest of your life, won’t you? Just why aren’t you using them? Your protective blessing period expired as well, so why?”
Vulcan was going to give random excuses that came to his mind. However, after seeing the look on Blue Wind’s face, Vulcan firmly shut his mouth.
It looked like Vulcan would receive a serious beating if he said one wrong word.
Of course, the Blue Dragon in front of Vulcan was just a projection. However, there was no need for Vulcan to strike the wrong chords on the Blue Dragon’s temper when the Blue Dragon was among the most powerful beings in Act 2.
With shaky voice, Vulcan said to the Blue Dragon,
“I had been staying in a safe place, so… I’ll just have 10 years’ worth of high quality Blue Dragon’s Breath…”
Blue Wind, who had been glaring at Vulcan with dissatisfied look on the face, interrupted Vulcan and said,
“Won’t it be very tough for you to live in the dangerous world of Act 2 without the protective blessing?”
Blue Wind said it in a concerned tone. However, overall atmosphere felt from him was no different from foisting.
Vulcan could not stand the ridiculousness. He talked back to the Blue Dragon as if he was making a complaint,
“This is just… This goes beyond something like asking the customer to buy a bag of oranges while buying a box of apples. You are trying to sell me the highest quality breath. Isn’t that incredibly expensive?”
“You earn a lot of marbles, don’t you? Kina Kina said you are earning Vitality Marbles like a waterfall pouring down water. Where do you intend to use them all?”
“Even so, I cannot take the highest quality breath when I don’t even need it. Isn’t that extremely inefficient for the price anyway?”
“Um. Kurhum… It’s only right to stop being concerned about the cost efficiency when you get to premium product.”
It seemed Vulcan got to the heart of the matter. Blue Wind lightly avoided Vulcan’s gaze, and Vulcan started at him with a face that said that this was wrong.
Until this moment, Blue Wind had been excited and cornering Vulcan. However, due to over-imposing sales pitch, the situation came to where it was poking Blue Wind in the consciousness, and Blue Wind momentum in the conversation.
Unexpectedly, Vulcan took this narrow opportunity and started to make his complaint in logical steps,
“Actually, the highest quality breath is only about twice as good as the high quality breath, isn’t it? Meanwhile, the cost for the highest quality breath is 60 times that of just high quality breath, so how could I afford to just spend away my Vitality Marbles? It’s so expensive that I might consider using it before an ultra-critical battle. Also, although I do earn a lot of marbles, I somehow ended up with many enemies, so I am always anxious nowadays. Because of this, I need to have enough allowances to summon the Highest Battle God or greater. Ah, as I said earlier, I am at a safe place at the moment, but it is not like I can stay here for thousands or tens of thousands of years…”
“I got it! I understand, so stop explaining!”
Vulcan was yapping away endlessly like a skilled merchant lady at a traditional market district. Frustrated, Blue Wind screamed at Vulcan to stop talking.
Blue Wind shook his head left and right and stared at Vulcan with dissatisfied look on the face. Vulcan also tightly shut his mouth and stared at the Blue Dragon.
Like that, about a minute passed with both of them in silence.
Blue Wind was the one who broke the silence first.
He looked calmer than when he first appeared. The Blue Dragon said,
“Let me apologize. I made an unreasonable request to you. I don’t have long before achieving the result of my great work, so I am getting anxious.”
“… It’s all right. I am also sorry for speaking so freely.”
Vulcan never expected a great God Beast like Blue Wind, who had accumulated far more experiences than himself, would say something like that to him. Vulcan felt he was not deserving of such which was reflected on the look on his face. Like that, Vulcan accepted Blue Wind’s apology.
Also, Vulcan thought about how frustrated this heavy-ass God Beast must have felt to bring himself all the way here and say all that. Vulcan even felt guilty thinking about it.
‘Now that I think about it, even Blue Wind must have got to where he was after several thousands of years of training. He is seeing the end of his long journey, and he met a Player. He even made a contract with me to get more Vitality Marbles yet he receive no news from me all those years. I can really understand how frustrated he must have been.’
Things Vulcan didn’t think about during the heated, hectic conversation started to come to his mind little by little. Vulcan truly felt sorry now.
However, he had no intention of spending away the Vitality Marbles when he had no use for them.
The Vitality Marbles were the only method that Vulcan had for bringing about power beyond his own.
It was obvious for him to save them as much as he could.
‘Well, if there is something else I could get, then it would be a different story. Blue Wind is a great God Beast, so he probably have many useful skills… Wait.’
Blue Wind was standing there awkwardly. Standing in front of him, Vulcan too was standing with an awkward look on his face.
A new thought zapped through Vulcan’s mind.
‘I can learn it, a skillbook!’
Vulcan hurriedly said to Blue Wind,
“Huh? What is it?”
Vulcan suddenly stared at Blue Dragon with sparkly eyes. Facing Vulcan with eyes like that, Blue Wind asked back, wondering why.
Vulcan said in a quiet tone,
“By any chance… Do you have any leftover technique books?”
* * *
Blue Wind the Blue Dragon obtained substantial amount of Vitality Marbles.
After offering the high-quality version of the Blue Dragon’s Breath to Vulcan, Blue Wind was going to end the communication, but Vulcan’s satisfied face came into Blue Wind’s view.
With confused look, Blue Wind asked,
“Since I received payment for it, I will give it to you, but I’m telling you, this is not something a human can master. You will have to be a God Beast, Enlightened God, Demi-god or a real God to master it. Unless you are one of those, you cannot learn it even if you stared at it for a hundred days.”
“It’s all right. I have a way.”
“Tsk. Even a real Demi-god would take a long time to learn this, so why are you…”
“… Well, you take care of it on your own. However, I cannot give you back the Vitality Marbles. The booklet that has the land-fold technique is one of my most treasured text. It is not a copy. This one is the original, so it is only right to ask this much as the payment.”
“I completely understand.”
Vulcan answered as if there was nothing to worry about. He was full of confidence.
Looking at him, Blue Wind lightly shook his head and said his good bye for now.
“Well then. I’ll get going now.”
“Yes. Please be well.”
It sounded like a home electric appliance’s power went off. Along with that sound, Blue Wind the Blue Dragon disappeared.
Kina Kina turned back to an ordinary wooden doll. Vulcan hung the doll on his waist and looked at the graceful looking booklet on his hand.
Vulcan was full of excitement and anticipations that he could not hide. His eyes were full of bliss.
[Legendary Skill – Blue Wind’s Ultimate Technique, Land-fold]
[Level Limit: 500]
[Species Limit: God Beast, Enlightened God, Demi-god, God. Mastering this technique is not possible for beings other than them.]
It allows movement as if you folded the land. With improved mastery, you can fold through a greater distance more often. It can be used during any time, during attack, evasion, movement and other situations. It is the highest level technique. It cannot be mastered by a human being.
Would you like to acquire this skill?
With shaky hand, Vulcan pressed the ‘Yes’ button on the SYSTEM notification window.
At the same time, brilliant light of all visible spectrum exploded out.
It was not through learning and understanding the technique. It felt like the technique was being engraved onto Vulcan’s soul. It felt strange and mysterious, and it shook Vulcan’s body.
After a moment…
The brilliant light that filled the stone room disappeared, and Vulcan exhaled after holding his breath during the acquisition of the technique.
Vulcan swallowed dry gulp and looked at his own feet.
It felt completely different from how it was when he acquired the Lightning Dragon Steps.
It felt like he could tear through the fabric of space and enter into the opening. Feeling the sensation, Vulcan carefully tried out the Land-fold, Blue Dragon’s Ultimate Technique.
“OhOh! It works!”
It felt like about five meters of space just got erased from front of him. It was a mysterious experience to go through. Vulcan cheered out loud.
His voice was loud enough for anyone to notice that he was extremely excited.
However, it was an obvious response for Vulcan.
This was supposedly a technique of a God Beast that a human could never master.
Of them all, it was an incredible technique that had the word ‘Legendary’ in the title.
It was a significant benefit for Vulcan. It would not have been weird if Vulcan ran straight to the west island and gave a full, proper bow to the Blue Dragon.
This time, with his face full of excitement, Vulcan slowly ran to the front with the Lightning Dragon Step activated.
Vulcan was wondering if it was possible to use the Land-fold technique while moving in high speed.
Of course, the description for the skill already said it was possible to use the skill in any situation including attack, evasion and any movement. However, Vulcan was still unfamiliar with the God Beast’s technique at the moment, so he was a little worried.
Vulcan was surprised by his unnatural movement. He failed at controlling the distance.
He slammed his head at the stone room’s wall and plummeted to the ground. He rubbed his head which turned red.
If someone saw this, Vulcan would have been so embarrassed that he would have kicked the blanket at night for days while grinding his teeth. It was that unsightly.
A sigh naturally came out of Vulcan.
‘Huuuu. As I thought, it is not easy to do as I want. When I saw the Blue Dragon do it, he was able to move over a hundred meters at will…’
The Land-fold technique was far more difficult to use than Vulcan thought. He covered his head with his hands.
He was not expecting to use it masterfully from the very first use. However, he thought he would get accustomed to it with a few tries just like how it went with the Lighting Dragon Step.
The difficulty was at a whole other level. Already, it was giving Vulcan a headache.
However, his useless thoughts did not last long. Vulcan shook up his worries with ease in an instant and got up.
After that, just like how he was five years ago after finishing the conversation with Dokgo Hoo, Vulcan started walking with determination.
From the start, Vulcan was not thinking he could master it over a day.
The God Beast’s Land-fold technique, or Destructive Core containing multi-elemental magic, was far from Vulcan’s strong suits to start with.
It obviously demanded diligent hard work and bone-smashing training.
‘Still, it would be good for me to set goals even if it is just for motivation purpose.’
In his mind, Vulcan set the goal to five years.
He decided to master the Destructive Core so he could control it at will and bring himself up to the point of being able to utilize the Land-fold technique during real combat within five years.
With those as the goals, Vulcan was going to run while only looking forward.
‘Now that I think about it, it has been a while since I set my goal to be something other than leveling up. Wait, is this the first time?’
Vulcan tilted his head, wondering if that was true. He slowly used the Land-fold to move forward.
It’s been ten years since Vulcan entered the Lava Demon Cave.
After the Destructive Core, Vulcan also acquired the Land-fold, a different, powerful skill.
* * *