Vulcan panicked after seeing a set item, which was something he had never seen in his life.
He had been obtaining a countless number of items from cutting down monsters for decades in Rubel Continent, Beloong City, and now Act 2.
However, this was the first time for Vulcan to learn that such items existed.
‘Of course, the concept is common, but…’
The idea was common in video games. Vulcan just thought such a concept didn’t exist in this world.
For a moment, Vulcan looked at ‘Demon Duke’s Upper Body Armor’ and slowly unequipped the armor he was wearing.
He put away his old armor into the inventory haphazardly. Overjoyed, he tried on the Demon Duke’s armor.
He couldn’t possibility not be happy about this.
It was a high level armor, possessing 800 Level limit. Also, its options were not bad in itself.
In particular, Vulcan really liked the ‘increases fire type skills’ attack power’ option.
Vulcan tried out a variety of different fire magic and confirmed their power definitely had gone up. He grinned widely and thought about his next plan.
‘My initial plan was to get out of the Lava Cave after completing the quest, but…’
It was not that the experience points didn’t go up by hunting here, but the place was slowly approaching the point where the efficiency was about to fall behind ordinary hunting grounds outside.
Vulcan thought he could handle the Chimeras to some extent now, so he had been thinking that he should leave the Lava Cave as soon as he clears the boss room.
However, now that he discovered the existence of set items for the first time, and moreover, considering that he could expect a huge increase in effectiveness from collecting them all, greed started to fire up inside Vulcan.
‘Judging from the item’s name, it looks like it is not the kind of equipment that I could get from the outside. If I kill the boss monster after he gets regenerated, are the set items going to continue to drop?’
It was not something he could be sure about unless he tried.
However, it seemed there was a high likelihood of this being true.
Vulcan checked out the dark red armor that was covering his body for a while. In the end, he decided to extend his stay at the Lava Cave.
Actually, Vulcan didn’t really like the armors he had been wearing.
They were grand-rate armors. They were not bad, but they all had options far from what he wanted.
On top of this, their designs were all different from each other, so they didn’t look very good together.
‘This Demon Duke Set… Judging from the armor’s option, it is definitely specialized in fire magic. I must collect them all before leaving no matter what. That’s definitely the right move.’
Vulcan was painfully aware of how difficult it was to acquire high level items that were perfect fit for him, so he thought he definitely should grab this chance.
Vulcan opened the repent room’s creaky door and headed back to where the Lava Demon Forces were.
It was going to take a month before Baloc Balgeram was regenerated.
Vulcan couldn’t afford to just play around and do nothing for the time being.
Vulcan diligently trained in Land Fold technique and collected Vitality Marbles while passing the time.
Like that, when exactly one month had passed, Vulcan went back to the repentance room where Belgeram was sealed in. Vulcan kicked opened the door.
• I am Baloc Balgeram, the grand demon from Elumhal, the 429th dimension. I had my infamy known to the world in… What the hell? Why are you back again!
Belgeram panicked. He even stopped his important procedure and blurted at Vulcan as if he was making a complaint.
Toward Belgeram, Vulcan responded as if it was nothing.
“Don’t mind it. Just hurry up and finish what you had been doing.”
Belgeram stared at Vulcan as if he could not believe this was happening. However, Vulcan just stood there with his arms crossed and watched Belgeram.
Belgeram was really not liking what Vulcan was doing.
However, there was nothing he could do. Belgeram slowly continued his line.
• … However, I cannot turn away a warrior who came all this way through the perilous path to test one’s bravery and might. I shall become your opponent willingly.
With bitter look on his face, Belgeram completed the process.
The Destructive Core fell on the back of his head. At the same time, Vulcan also rushed toward Belgeram at a fearsome speed.
The blade that Vulcan held was exuding the violent energy of golden lightning.
• Sone of a beeeaaach!
Belgeram hurriedly swung his flame whip and shot down the Destructive Core. He then extended his left hand to summon demons.
Dozens of demons were burning up in dark red flames.
They possessed incredible heat and destructive power. They could be called the ultimate fire magic.
However, in addition to the SS rank fire mastery, Vulcan was also wearing the Demon Duke’s Armor. The summoned demons were not enough to corner Vulcan.
Vulcan repeatedly launched Ifrit’s Fists and neutralized the summoned demons. As sharp as an ice pick, Vulcan charged into pierce Belgeram’s stomach.
Belying his huge body, Belgeram demonstrated incredible speed and flexibility to dodge Vulcan’s blade.
However, this was only the start of the battle.
Several hundreds of lightning attacks pestered Belgeram like a swarm of bees. The Destructive Core floating above his head was intently waiting for a gap in his defense.
Moreover, Vulcan was occasionally attacking using the Land Fold technique, attacking Belgeram’s rear and sides. They were enough to keep Belgeram busy.
Of course, Belgeram’s attacks were also deadly and sharp.
He had superb physical abilities, endless mana, and explosive dashing capability.
He was definitely not someone that one should fight with their guard down. He was definitely a difficult opponent.
However, Vulcan already had beaten him a month ago even without the armor.
Belgeram gradually accumulated damage over time and started to collapse. His neck was cut again. He ended up in the sorry state again where he was looking up at Vulcan from the floor.
Belgeram asked as if he was wronged.
• Just why!
• Just why are you tormenting me again! If it is the exploit that you want, you already obtained it, didn’t you? You should not be able to get it again from killing me again. Please. Can you leave me be so I can quietly repent for my past sins?
With sympathetic look on his face, Vulcan looked at Belgeram’s head.
The look on Vulcan’s face at least looked like he was going to comply to Belgeram’s request.
• …. This son of a bitch!
Like a fully ripe water melon, Belgeram’s head was cut cleanly in half.
This was his second death at Vulcan’s hands.
[Your experience points went up.]
[You defeated a foe who is stronger than you!]
[You have defeated this monster before, so you cannot gain exploits.]
‘My exploits really didn't increase. Of course, I didn’t kill him for getting more exploits, but…’
Vulcan looked at Belgeram’s corpse which was slowly disappearing.
Soon, dark red boots appeared in mid-air.
Its ominous look was accentuated with skulls and demon decorations. Vulcan cheered out loud.
“I scored big on items twice in a row! All right!”
To save his world, he had fought through unspeakable hardship and suffocating pressure.
However, just for this moment, Vulcan laid down all of his worries and enjoyed it like a gamer in a virtual reality game.
* * *
Ten years have passed.
Vulcan’s sense of joy from scoring big did not last.
He was able to get the items he wanted only after a very long time.
He hunted the boss monster 120 times, and he obtained items for those 120 times.
He was able to get items belonging to the Demon Duke’s Armors set during 1st, 2nd, 23rd, 44th, 76th, 101st, and 111th attempts.
However, the crumpled look on Vulcan’s face didn’t know to relax.
There were three pairs of boots with exactly same color and design in front of him.
Including the Demon Duke’s Boots that he was wearing already, there were four of the same pairs.
Excluding duplicate items, Vulcan just had four of the set items.
Vulcan’s inside was boiling out of frustration. He consoled himself as he put away the boots.
After that, he stated to use harsh languages inside.
“… Fuck. After all that hard work for ten years… In the end, I didn’t get the set… The helm… I just need the helm…”
The set item’s power could be realized only after collecting all five items.
Having just four or three of them didn’t matter.
Of course, each items had useful fire related options, so this was not bad, but Vulcan could not feel great after having spent so much time and still be unable to accomplish his goal.
‘No… You never know. It might really work this time…’
Just once more, just once more… Vulcan was thinking like a gambling addict who shouted that. Vulcan walked toward the repent room with heavy steps.
With a look on the face that seemed he was at the brink of exploding from the stress, he kicked open the door such that it resulted in a loud banging noise.
Baloc Belgeram, who Vulcan was sick of seeing, could be seen.
Belgeram didn’t say anything.
When Vulcan came for around the 50th time, Belgeram cursed and pleaded Vulcan to not to come. However, Belgeram now knew that it was no use.
• I, am, Baloc, Balgeram, the, grand, demon, from, Elumhal, the, 4, 2, 9th dimension…
Belgeram performed the process at an incredibly slow speed.
He had no way of harassing Vulcan in the battle that was about to happen, so he was trying to do it this way.
Of course, as a result of his attempt, Belgeram was met with even more horrible deaths many times. However, Belgeram felt that he would explode from frustration if he didn’t.
• … who, have, come, to, test…
However, when there was a beginning, there had to be an end.
The procedure, which was progressing very slowly, came to its end. With gloomy face, Belgeram summoned his flame whip. Vulcan said,
“I am not coming here anymore.”
Shocked, Belgeram yelled loudly.
He was so shocked that his flame whip vanished into the air.
Not concerned at all about Belgeram’s reaction, Vulcan continued with uninterested voice.
“It will be difficult to stay here any longer. I had been eating my food sparingly, but I ate all of it… I need to leave now.”
In silence, Belgeram glared at Vulcan.
Belgeram was no longer interested in knowing what was the story behind Vulcan.
Belgeram was not interested in Vulcan’s constantly changing equipment or rapidly developing skills.
He didn’t want to have a conversation with Vulcan. Belgeram actually wanted to just present his neck out and end the fight quickly. However, unfortunately, that was not possible.
It was because Belgeram had the responsibility of carrying out the task given by the god diligently.
‘Anyway, after this fight is over, I don’t need to be harassed by him anymore; that’s what he is saying, right?’
Belgeram smiled widely and started the fight with his most powerful technique.
It was even quicker and sudden than how it was during the very first battle against Vulcan. It was dealt smoothly.
However, Vulcan was already at level 820.
Also, he now could use the Land Fold with even more ease than ten years ago.
Vulcan easily dodged the attack. He used the Thunder God Blade and Destructive Core techniques and pushed back intensely.
After that, the situation, the kind that looked exactly the same as if it was produced out of a waffle machine, unfolded. Belgeram was pushed back continuously due to the flow of the battle. He gradually accumulated damage. In the end, he was struck by a fatal move and died.
[Your experience points went up.]
[You defeated an opponent who is stronger than you!]
[You have defeated this monster before, so you cannot gain exploits.]
Instead of cutting off Belgeram’s head, Vulcan cut clean his entire body in half starting from the top of the head to the end of the upper body.
Belgeram disappeared without even being able to scream. Vulcan watched him disappear and then cursed.
The item that Belgeram tossed out at the end was a part of Demon Duke’s Armor set that Vulcan desperately wanted.
However, it was another pair of boots.
Vulcan was mad to the tip of his head. He threw a violent tantrum.
KWANG KWANG BOOM KWABOOBM BAKBOKAKWK.
Vulcan launched several hundreds of Hellfires to all directions.
The explosive sound was beyond just deafening. It was to the point of making his ear drums burst. However, Vulcan didn’t stop his magic attacks.
‘Ugh… Fuck. I grinded for 10 years, yet…’
Of course, he didn’t just grind the boss fights for ten years. He had done leveling up and training diligently, so the time spent was meaningful. However, Vulcan didn’t remember any of that at the moment.
He just thought about the helm, the thing that he so desperately wanted. The helm was the only thing that was filling his head at the moment, and it was not going to go away.
Again, full of anguish, Vulcan screamed out loud.
Like that, Vulcan ran amok like a madman for a long time. He stopped shooting magic indiscriminately when he heard the sound of hunger coming from his belly.
After that, he plummeted to the ground. Vulcan lied on the floor with all of his arms and legs stretched out like a starfish.
He ate the very last piece of bread that he had in the inventory and lied there for a long time.
In bitter voice, he mumbled alone.
“… Now… I should get out of here…”
It had been 25 years since he started training at the Lava Cave.
Vulcan finally got to go outside.
[TL: Due to loss of interest, Max Level Newbie may be put on hold or dropped soon in favor of focusing more on TTTH/TLS.]