This series has been dropped.

    [Spirit Stone]

    Grade

    • Common

    Category

    • Material

    Effect

    • A rock that has absorbed the energy of a great spirit over many years. It is imbued with a faint energy that is friendly to spirits.

    Do-joon’s eyes sparkled.

    Energy friendly to spirits. What could that mean?

    ‘Spirit affinity.’

    It meant a material containing affinity.

    Being just a material, it had no specific effects yet. Only a vague description was written.

    However, it implied that if this was processed, it could produce an item with a spirit affinity option.

    ‘If things didn’t go well, I was planning to search for the Spirit Lake.’

    The spirit affinity swords Do-joon had copied so far.

    Eldora’s sword and the swords of the ruins elves were all made with materials from a place called the Spirit Lake, according to the descriptions.

    So if he couldn’t find a way to meet Vulcanus, he had considered looking for the Spirit Lake. If he could further raise the level of spirit affinity there, perhaps it could be a breakthrough.

    Wouldn’t Vulcanus, also being a spirit, be affected by spirit affinity?

    However.

    ‘If I can obtain it here, there’s no need to go all the way there.’

    Clench. Do-joon smiled while grasping the rock.

    He soon put the stone safely into his inventory and began scouring the forest. There was no way this was the only rock that had been exposed to a spirit’s energy.

    That thought wasn’t wrong.

    ‘Wow.’

    Do-joon soon easily found piles of rocks scattered around.

    As he went a little deeper, information windows appeared on the pebbles in the flowing stream and the rocks stacked on the blunt hills.

    Do-joon personally collected them all. Before long, materials like these piled up like mountains inside his inventory.

    ‘Phew.’

    Do-joon bent down to pick up rocks with a sense of accomplishment.

    Suddenly, being like this brought back old memories.

    Before acquiring the copy ability, he was just an ordinary collector who gathered material items like this.

    ‘Back then, just finding a red herb colony made me feel like I had the world.’

    But recently, it wasn’t like that.

    He had focused solely on entering dungeons and slaying monsters as a hunter, not a collector.

    Even if he happened to find a material item, he ignored it, thinking it was more profitable to kill one more monster in the time it took to collect that.

    ‘Well, it actually is more profitable.’

    Even if there were no monsters around, it was better to just rest quietly. After resting, he could hunt more monsters, which would be much more lucrative.

    Thanks to that, it had been a long time since he felt like a collector.

    A feeling like accidentally discovering a treasure trove.

    ‘Nice.’

    Do-joon’s eyes shone.

    After that, he roamed the hills until the sun slightly tilted. Sometimes even using Thunder Step to move, startling grasshoppers and small animals that scurried away in fright at the sight of him.

    Eventually returning to the village.

    He went back to the tent where his party was.

    “Where did you go to get so dirty?”

    “Just up the mountain for a bit.”

    The first to greet him was Siwalin. She approached and patted the dirt off Do-joon’s body.

    “Thank you.”

    After thanking her, Do-joon sought out Hwang Hyun-woo, who was sharpening a knife on a whetstone in the corner.

    “Hyun-woo, take a look at this for a sec.”

    “Oh, you’re back, hyung? What’s that?”

    Hwang Hyun-woo checked the rock Do-joon handed him with a puzzled look. Soon, he had the same expression as Do-joon earlier.

    “This is…”

    “Can you make equipment with this?”

    “Of course!”

    Hwang Hyun-woo answered energetically.

    Recently, he had been questioning why he even followed them here.

    He was called a porter, but with inventories, there was no need to carry luggage, and maintenance work wasn’t plentiful either.

    Seok Dae-kyung usually managed his own gauntlets, and Elayna didn’t entrust her equipment to him either. Siwalin didn’t even have weapons in the first place.

    In the end, he was just a food-wasting parasite who wasn’t helpful. That had been his entire role lately. To the point where he wondered why his hyung brought him along.

    However.

    ‘So this is why you brought me, hyung!’

    Now there was work. Processing materials that could only be obtained here, in this land, into equipment.

    He began to see his hyung in a new light. Thinking that his hyung had brought him along with even this possibility in mind.

    “It’s a bit difficult here, so I’ll go out and find a place to build a workshop first!”

    He was fired up. It was his first and only task. He couldn’t help but be motivated.

    Therefore, he was also a bit nervous.

    His crafting skill, Midas’s Hand.

    If he wasn’t careful, he might ruin the materials his hyung had painstakingly brought.

    “I’ll go with you.”

    Do-joon got up to follow Hwang Hyun-woo. Since he would frequently visit the workshop once it was built, it was better to search together from the start.

    Seeing Do-joon like that, Hwang Hyun-woo spoke firmly.

    “Hyung… Although I’m only a half-baked craftsman, this time I’ll make a proper item!”

    An expression full of determination. Seeing that expression, Do-joon blinked a few times.

    “Uh, yeah. Well, no need to put too much pressure on yourself.”

    “Understood!”

    Seeing him burning with willpower, Do-joon clicked his tongue.

    Even if he failed as usual, it would still be very useful, so it really didn’t matter.

    ***

    “What? I can make anything I want with those rocks?”

    “Yeah. They’re technically the property of your territory, so I came to get permission first. Let the Flame Monarch know.”

    Do-joon sought out Sallion first to get permission. It would be troublesome if they found fault with him for not saying anything beforehand.

    “Ah, it’s fine, it’s fine. Do as you wish. His Majesty wouldn’t say anything about you playing with some rocks lying around. I don’t want to bother him with such things.”

    “Really?”

    Sallion spoke while waving her hand dismissively.

    Having received the answer he wanted, Do-joon began earnestly searching for land with Hwang Hyun-woo.

    A flat area not too far from the village and close to the mountain entrance.

    Soon finding a suitable spot, Hwang Hyun-woo started building the workshop. Using his second skill, Workshop Construction.

    “Oh.”

    It was quite an amazing sight. When he touched the ground, the earth rose up and a small building began to take shape.

    The building had a crude appearance, like it was made of dirt (in fact, it was actually made of dirt).

    Seeing Hwang Hyun-woo sweating profusely while making the workshop, Do-joon became lost in other thoughts.

    ‘Hyun-woo’s crafting skill has a success rate of roughly 10%… Out of ten, one will have increased affinity and nine will have decreased affinity.’

    He was quite motivated, but willpower alone couldn’t do anything. The skill itself was made that way.

    ‘Even if only one succeeds each time, it’s not a problem. There are plenty of materials. The other issue is how to dispose of the failures…’

    Naturally, the failures of equipment that raises spirit affinity would be equipment that lowers affinity.

    Do-joon grinned. Lowering affinity, what an interesting option, even if its uses were limited.

    ‘I wonder what would happen if we stuck them in elves.’

    Would the power of the spirits they command weaken? Or would their unity weaken?

    Or would their contract be broken?

    Do-joon shook his head. The last one didn’t seem like a very plausible guess.

    ‘In addition.’

    Crafting equipment that lowers affinity. It occurred to him that it might be helpful in ways other than combat against elves.

    ‘The possibility is low, but.’

    It was worth a try.

    With those thoughts, Do-joon watched Hwang Hyun-woo finish constructing the workshop.

    It was quite a decent-looking structure for being made on the spot with a skill.

    There was a workbench, of course, and a furnace in the back. The yard had ample space to store materials.

    “It’s done. Let’s light the fire right away.”

    “Yeah.”

    Hwang Hyun-woo moved busily. Lighting a fire in the furnace to raise the temperature and taking out tools from his inventory to organize them.

    In the meantime, there wasn’t much for Do-joon to do. It was the work of a craftsman, which he knew nothing about.

    He simply neatly stacked the rocks he had brought in the backyard.

    As he was doing that.

    “Grook.”

    A goblin approached and peeked around. Drawn by the smoke rising from the furnace, it came to see if they were grilling meat.

    Monsters. Normally, they would draw their swords the moment they encountered each other. In fact, they had fought like that against the Baku clan in the neutral zone.

    But the monsters here were different.

    They don’t rush at people even when they see them. They don’t attack. Perhaps the owner of this land, Vulcanus, had trained them well.

    ‘To think I’d experience something like this in my life.’

    If it weren’t for the hinterlands, he probably wouldn’t have experienced this anywhere.

    He opened his inventory and tossed a piece of dried jerky. The goblin snickered and went on its way.

    After seeing off the goblin like that, Do-joon looked towards the village. On that side, the newly arrived Baku clan could be seen building their own dwellings.

    After observing the village for a while, he,

    “Aah! It failed! What is this, right from the start!”

    —soon laughed at the voice coming from behind.

    ***

    The next day.

    As expected, nine out of ten of Hwang Hyun-woo’s crafting attempts failed. He was crestfallen, but Do-joon didn’t mind at all. He just quietly collected the failures.

    Do-joon encouraged Hwang Hyun-woo, saying it was fine as long as he kept doing what he was doing.

    At that moment.

    “Hey! What are you guys doing!”

    Sallion came and freaked out. She had seen the pile of failures in the backyard.

    “What do you mean, what are we doing? We’re making equipment.”

    Do-joon spoke nonchalantly. He could guess why Sallion was reacting like that.

    Of course.

    “How could you make such monstrosities! Eww! It’s unpleasant just looking at them!”

    It must be because of the Spirit Affinity -1Lv option attached to the failures.

    “You said it was okay to make them?”

    “Still, this is too much!”

    Sallion jumped around Do-joon. Hwang Hyun-woo was fidgeting anxiously beside them at her reaction.

    However, Do-joon just shrugged his shoulders calmly.

    “Making such things in His Majesty’s territory! No, how did you even make these with those rocks in the first place… Ah!”

    Sallion, who had been berating Do-joon, looked behind him and froze, covering her mouth. Her gaze wouldn’t leave Do-joon’s back.

    Do-joon slowly turned around.

    There stood a giant man with fiery red hair, who had arrived at some point.

    An overwhelming presence could be felt even though he was just standing still.

    His identity could be easily deduced. There was only one being in this land who could exude such energy.

    “Y-Your Majesty!”

    Vulcanus, the Crimson Flame Dragon.

    The very owner of this land who had turned them away at the door a few days ago had personally appeared.

    Do-joon inwardly smiled. He had thought the possibility was low, but fortunately, it had worked out. Of course, his expression was extremely serious.

    Vulcanus looked at Do-joon and Hwang Hyun-woo once, and then at the pile of failures next to them.

    His brows furrowed.

    “What are you doing on my land?”

    He spoke without hiding his displeasure.

    Just by frowning, the air around him seemed to burn with heat.

    “Ah… that’s…”

    Hwang Hyun-woo trembled and collapsed to the ground. Do-joon looked at him and stepped forward to shield Hwang Hyun-woo.

    Hyun-woo opened his eyes wide and stared at Do-joon’s back.

    The air that had seemed to be crushing him just a moment ago had suddenly lifted when Do-joon stepped up.

    “We were making equipment with materials we picked up from the mountain over there.”

    “……”

    Seeing Do-joon answer calmly, Vulcanus’s eyes flickered.

    There weren’t many beings who could stand before him so unfazed like that.

    Now his gaze was fixed solely on Do-joon, not the failures or Hwang Hyun-woo.

    “Who said you could do as you please?”

    However, his displeasure hadn’t disappeared.

    They had come to someone else’s land with dirty feet and were digging up the ground and making things as they wished?

    And not just ordinary things. Things so unpleasant that just looking at them made his irritation skyrocket.

    Vulcanus’s eyebrows twitched.

    In front of him, Do-joon calmly pointed to the side. Vulcanus’s gaze naturally followed in that direction.

    There.

    “She said it was fine.”

    “Hic.”

    Was Sallion, desperately covering her mouth to hold back hiccups.

    Email Subscription