This series has been dropped.

    Copying the skill rune’s option.

    Based on his numerous copying experiences so far, there was little concern that it would be copied in a harmful way. Although it was unlikely…

    ‘It might be better to use it normally.’

    The skill rune itself had excellent utility. There was a possibility that its efficiency could be worse than using it as is.

    In a way, it was a gamble.

    And the skill rune was too good an item to gamble on.

    ‘Can I preserve it with a coin?’

    The existence of coins naturally came to mind. If he could preserve the skill rune with that, he could use it without worries.

    However.

    [The item cannot be preserved.]

    Do-joon frowned.

    When they first gave it, they acted like everything was possible, but now they say some things can’t be done? No, then at least tell me the reason why it can’t be done.

    But the message window remained silent.

    ‘Does this mean skill runes are different from other items?’

    It was just a feeling, but it seemed like they were being treated specially somehow. Although he couldn’t be certain.

    “Hmm…”

    A small groan escaped as his contemplation deepened. Should he copy this or not? Should he stop doing unnecessary things and just use it normally?

    How many more days would he be able to obtain skill runes like this in the future? Perhaps he might not get even a single one more in his lifetime. That’s how scarce skill runes were in the market.

    Do-joon groaned while holding a small rock.

    Sivellin tilted her head, looking at Do-joon like that. She couldn’t figure out what Do-joon was agonizing over.

    In the end, Do-joon.

    ‘Alright. Let’s do it!’

    He made a decision.

    Even if it was a gamble, this was something he had to bet on.

    In fact, the answer was already there even before he started contemplating. How could he not try this?

    Perhaps it could change to an even better option.

    ‘What if a skill that grants this skill shows up?’

    If that happened, it would undoubtedly be a jackpot. Do-joon’s eyes lit up as he firmly grasped the skill rune.

    [One of the options of ‘Skill Rune: Shadow Bind’ can be copied to ‘Kim Do-joon.’]

    [Options available for copying]

    1. Learn Shadow Bind.

    ‘Copy!’

    Do-joon shouted energetically in his mind.

    Feeling his heart pounding, he waited for the result. But.

    ‘…What?’

    Strange.

    There was no change at all.

    ‘A message should appear saying it was successful, and the item should shatter, right?’

    That’s how it had been for the hundreds of copying processes he had done so far.

    ‘Successfully copied.’

    Along with such a message, the item would transform into particles of light and disappear.

    There had never been a time when there was no reaction like this.

    ‘What’s going on?’

    A sense of unease crept up.

    No, it’s still okay. The important rune didn’t disappear or anything and remained properly in his fist.

    Do-joon decided to use copy again.

    Right at that moment.

    Crack!

    A large crack appeared on the skill rune he was holding. Do-joon was startled by the sudden phenomenon.

    The message window appeared right after that.

    [The original of the option has been found. Do you want to copy the original?]

    [Options available for copying]

    1. Copy
    2. Original

    Do-joon’s eyes widened. This was a message window he was seeing for the first time.

    Was the skill rune indeed different from other items somehow? He had never seen a message like this during the hundreds of times he had copied so far.

    ‘Copy and original.’

    There was no need to ponder. If he had to choose between the two, it was common sense to choose the original.

    “The original.”

    The moment he said that, a sensation as if his vision was growing distant came over him.

    His body wouldn’t move. He couldn’t even blink his eyes.

    [Copying the original of Shadow Bind.]

    ‘What’s happening?’

    It was a situation he was experiencing for the first time. The only clue was the newly appeared message window.

    However, the unfriendly message window didn’t bring Do-joon a clear answer.

    His senses became sensitive, and his eyes became bloodshot. The cold sweat running down his spine brought a strange irritation.

    Crack! Crackle!

    Meanwhile, only the skill rune in his hand was strangely shattering. As if breaking a hard shell, the outer layer peeled off, and something invisible inside was being ripped apart with a crunching sound.

    How much time had passed?

    It felt like half a day had gone by. However, in reality, not even a few seconds had passed.

    [Ding!]

    [Successfully copied.]

    [The ‘Skill Rune: Shadow Bind’ that was used as material has been destroyed.]

    [Copied the ‘original’ of Shadow Bind.]

    [Acquired the skill: Sheer Shader’s Thorn.]

    As his stiffened body loosened, a refreshing sensation he had never felt before in his life swept over him.

    It was similar to what he felt right after awakening, but even more refreshing than that.

    “Ah.”

    His eyes blinked and his voice came out properly. Do-joon unconsciously sat up with a start.

    “…?”

    Sivellin tilted her head, seeing Do-joon suddenly getting up while receiving treatment.

    “…It’s nothing.”

    Unable to even explain the phenomenon he had just experienced, Do-joon shook his head.

    Before he knew it, the treatment was over and all the wounds had healed. Sivellin slapped Do-joon’s shoulder, signifying that the treatment was finished.

    「It’s done. Just in case, go to the hospital for a checkup.」

    “Huh? Oh, yeah. I have to go see So-eun anyway.”

    Even though it was an obvious thing to say, it felt strange when she said it.

    In the past, she herself played the role of a hospital doctor, yet now she was telling him to go to the hospital.

    Does this mean she is properly adapting to this world?

    ‘Should I really get a checkup?’

    Well, it wouldn’t hurt. Do-joon had been getting regular health checkups anyway. He could just think of it as getting one a bit early this time.

    But more than that, there was one thing that bothered him more.

    [Additional Option]

    • Skill: Sheer Shader’s Thorn

    Do-joon scratched his head while glancing at the new skill that appeared in the option window.

    His shadow, illuminated by the fluorescent light, flickered unnoticed and disappeared.

    ***

    The next day.

    Do-joon, who had gone to see So-eun yesterday and had scheduled his own checkup separately, was able to finish everything and return in the morning.

    As a result, there was nothing wrong with his body. Rather, he was too healthy, which was a problem.

    “…”

    Sivellin let out a sigh of relief upon hearing the results. Do-joon suddenly asked out of curiosity.

    “Come to think of it, it seems you’ve mastered writing now, right?”

    「Yes. I’m perfect at reading and writing.」

    She showed him a card she had written, as if boasting about her progress.

    Thanks to being buried in books and TV during that time, she had mastered even basic common sense.

    ‘Then should I start teaching her the store work now?’

    It seemed like it would be fine if she took charge of the store. If she didn’t work in the first place, wouldn’t she just be unemployed?

    “Come here for a moment.”

    For once, Do-joon changed the store’s signboard to open. Since he had been consistently cleaning even when the store was closed, its condition was quite good.

    He taught her the store work step by step for a while. There wasn’t much difficulty. It was just selling items and receiving money.

    「Are you sure it’s okay for me to do business?」

    “Why? You don’t like it?”

    「No, I like it! In the past, I wanted to do it but it was forbidden so I couldn’t.」

    Do-joon smiled bitterly, looking at her eyes shining.

    He understood the feelings of those people as to why they forbade it. If they said they were using their top-class personnel, someone of saint level, for business, wouldn’t they be called crazy?

    If he himself had been in an urgent situation like that place, he wouldn’t have thought of using Sivellin as an employee either.

    ‘I’ll have to teach her for a while.’

    How long would it take for her to get used to the work? Judging from the adaptability and affinity he had seen from her so far, it didn’t seem like it would take that long…

    At that time, while they were chatting together and killing time so he could hand over the store work, the bell on the door rang.

    Ding-

    “Welcome.”

    「Welcome.」

    Do-joon greeted and Sivellin showed a pre-written card.

    However, it wasn’t a customer who entered.

    “Hello. I’m Jo Yoon-min from the association, here to investigate. Nice to meet you.”

    “The association? Ah, I’m Kim Do-joon.”

    “I know you well. I heard a lot about you from Ji-ah, haha.”

    Jo Yoon-min laughed pleasantly and offered a handshake.

    As Do-joon had him sit down, Sivellin began brewing coffee as she had just learned.

    Do-joon glanced at her, concerned about whether she was doing it properly. Jo Yoon-min was the first to speak to him.

    “As you may have guessed, I’m here because of yesterday’s incident with Kwak Dong-gyu. We need to hear the story from all the survivors.”

    “I see.”

    The full story of the incident had already been widely spread by reporters.

    Sangam-dong Lava Cave, layered roots dungeon, Kwak Dong-gyu.

    These keywords had not come down from the top of real-time search rankings since last night. Still, there might be stories they hadn’t heard.

    That’s why Jo Yoon-min had stopped by here.

    “May I ask for your cooperation?”

    “Yes.”

    Do-joon nodded. Soon, centered around Jo Yoon-min’s questions, he talked about what he knew about the incident.

    “Oh my…! It was Kwak Dong-gyu who triggered the layered roots?”

    “That’s right. At first, he attacked me, but it seemed like it wasn’t working out, so he attacked the floor. I didn’t know why he did that, but immediately after, roots started growing inside the dungeon.”

    “Oh dear…”

    There was nothing to hide about the flow of the incident itself. The only thing he had to hide was the story of the skill rune he obtained from Kwak Dong-gyu’s corpse.

    For a while, the structure continued where Do-joon spoke and Jo Yoon-min took notes.

    “Alright, I understand for now. Thank you for your precious time.”

    “No, it’s okay.”

    Tak.

    Jo Yoon-min closed his notebook. There were no inconsistencies or suspicious parts in Kim Do-joon’s story.

    If there was anything suspicious, it would be his ability to defeat the monsterized Kwak Dong-gyu and even hunt a B-grade boss…

    But that wasn’t significantly related to the incident, so he didn’t ask about it. It could also be rude.

    “Would it be alright if I stop by like this from time to time? I might have more things to ask…”

    “Sure. I’ll be out of my seat often, so it would be good if you could contact me in advance.”

    “Ah, yes. I understand. I apologize for dropping by so suddenly today.”

    Bowing his head, Jo Yoon-min left. Do-joon saw him off and returned to the store.

    Meanwhile, at that time, on a street a little distance from the store.

    Two people happened to run into each other while heading to Do-joon’s store.

    It was Hwang Hyeong-woo and Baek Hwi-soo.

    “Uncle? What brings you here?”

    “Hyeon-woo, what about you?”

    The two people who ran into each other had the same destination. As if they already knew each other, the two chatted and headed to the store.

    “I came to express my gratitude for yesterday’s incident. He’s my life savior.”

    He had heard about Do-joon’s store before when trading at the market. He had come here, recalling that memory.

    Baek Hwi-soo nodded as if he understood. He had also seen Hwang Hyeong-woo coming out of the gate with Do-joon yesterday.

    “I came to see if I could bring that Kim Do-joon into our team. I heard he received a lot of scout offers during the test but didn’t join any of them.”

    “So you came in person?”

    “Well, yeah.”

    Hwang Hyeong-woo looked at Baek Hwi-soo with pitying eyes and shook his head.

    “Oh my… Uncle, do you think hyung-nim would really join a mere 4th-ranked guild? He’s not that kind of person…”

    At Hyeon-woo’s teasing, Hwi-soo’s eyebrows twitched.

    “Hey you punk, our guild isn’t a place to be looked down upon like that?”

    “But it still wouldn’t be to hyung-nim’s liking, would it?”

    Hwang Hyeong-woo grinned. Having directly witnessed Do-joon’s fight, he was half-convinced of the hypothesis that Do-joon was the disciple of some master.

    The biggest reason Do-joon was able to defeat Kwak Dong-gyu and the boss monster was that his compatibility also exceeded 40%.

    However, Hwang Hyeong-woo assumed that Do-joon’s compatibility was in the 10% range, similar to his own, so he thought that the tremendous clash at that time was not the power of stats but some kind of combat technique or martial art.

    “This little punk.”

    Baek Hwi-soo flicked Hwang Hyeong-woo’s forehead.

    Smack!

    “Ouch!”

    It was a flick from an A-rank hunter who was the team leader of Rune Mage Guild. It couldn’t be light.

    “You’ll only know if it’s long or short after trying.”

    He wanted to say more, but Hwang Hyeong-woo shut his mouth. The throbbing forehead gave him self-control.

    Shortly after, the two arrived at the store, opened the door, and entered.

    “Welcome.”

    “Welcome.”

    The sight of Do-joon and Sivellin greeting them as soon as they entered. The two’s eyes widened upon seeing Sivellin wearing an apron as if she was an employee.

    However, it was rude to stare. The two cleared their throats as if on cue and turned their gazes towards Do-joon.

    “Hyung-nim! I came to express my gratitude for yesterday’s incident!”

    “I see, are you feeling alright?”

    “Yes! Thanks to you, I’m healthy!”

    The first to speak was Hwang Hyeong-woo. He was brisk and lively like a newly transferred soldier.

    Do-joon was slightly puzzled by his appearance but understood. He thought that Hyeon-woo might feel indebted since he had saved him twice.

    “Nice to meet you. I’m Baek Hwi-soo, the combat Team 1 leader of Rune Mage Guild.”

    Beside him, Baek Hwi-soo smiled with a good impression and took out a business card, extending it.

    “I guess you’re not here as a customer.”

    “Pardon? Ah, well…”

    Do-joon received the business card with a lukewarm expression. It seemed this person had also come for a different purpose, not as a customer.

    ‘No customers today either. Well, I’ve been opening and closing the store at my own discretion…’

    Do-joon’s eyes slightly drooped with a secret disappointment. However, there was no one in this place who understood his feelings.

    “Hmm… You two came in together, are you acquainted?”

    “I know this kid’s father, so I got to know him through that connection.”

    Do-joon looked at Hwang Hyeong-woo again with a fresh perspective.

    He had only thought of him as the owner of a small equipment store, but to think he knew the team leader of Rune Mage.

    “Is that so? I guess the saying that the world is small is true.”

    “Yes, well… Rather than being small, it’s also because this kid’s father is quite a loudmouth.”

    Still, it was true that the industry was small, so it wouldn’t be a very wrong thing to say. This field was one where connections were tied in some way or another as you went higher up.

    “If you’re from Rune Mage Guild, did you come for a trade issue? As far as I know, this month’s delivery has already been made.”

    “No, that’s not it… I’ll get straight to the point, Mr. Kim Do-joon, I’m here to make a recruitment proposal. Would you like to join us?”

    As expected, that was it.

    Do-joon shook his head as if there was nothing to think about.

    “I’m sorry, but I’ll have to decline.”

    “I’ll talk to the higher-ups and get you into team 1… Pardon? Just like that?”

    “I have no intention of joining a guild.”

    Do-joon cut him off decisively.

    “Is that all you came for?”

    “Well…”

    He had come with quite a bit of preparation. He had persuaded the guild leader, contacted the personnel team in advance, and even quickly held a meeting with the support team before coming.

    However, at the tone that showed not a single room for compromise, he was at a loss for words.

    “I told you it wouldn’t work out, didn’t I?”

    Beside him, Hwang Hyeong-woo was snickering, saying he knew this would happen. He couldn’t have been more detestable.

    Email Subscription