Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 33
Vulcaro was a talented blacksmith. No, talented couldn’t even begin to describe him because he was the best blacksmith that YuWon knew.
Vulcaro immediately recognized the crystal in YuWon’s hand. Well, to be more precise, it wasn’t that he recognized what the crystal was. Instead, he recognized its value.
“Could I… take a closer look?”
YuWon nodded his head to Vulcaro’s question.
There was no reason to say no. Even if he didn’t want to, he’d have to give it to Vulcaro to hire him.
Vulcaro limped closer to YuWon. He looked at the fragment of the 「Helm of Invisibility」 up close, but since he had not been hired for a commission yet, he didn’t reach for it. But it was more than enough for Vulcaro to understand the full value of the fragment.
“It’s an unrefined crystal.”
It looked absolutely mesmerizing. Not only was the crystal radiating quite a bit of light, its energy also felt refined.
However, it only appeared that way to normal players and blacksmiths. Vulcaro was able to recognize that it was an unrefined crystal just by looking at it. That meant that…
“Are you able to refine it?”
… He knew how to refine it already.
“I certainly can, but…”
Vulcaro’s voice trembled.
YuWon studied his facial expression and the look in his eyes. He was hesitating, and the reason for his hesitation was clear to YuWon. It was easy to see what the problem was by looking around at the trash items hanging in the workshop.
YuWon gave him time to think about it.
After a long moment, Vulcaro spoke, “… Where did you get this?”
He hadn’t made his decision yet, but it was a positive response.
YuWon handed the fragment over to Vulcaro, and Vulcaro ended up receiving it before he could say anything.
“I got it as the Tutorial clear reward.”
“As the Tutorial clear reward? How did you receive something like this from…?”
Confused, Vulcaro pulled out his player kit and checked the date. It was the season for the Tutorial, but there should still have been quite a bit of time before it was over and new players started roaming the central region.
“How many days did it take?”
“About five days and two hours.”
“That’s a new record.”
“Yeah, and I was ranked first.”
Vulcaro nodded after looking up and down YuWon’s outfit.
The 「Pyromancy Robe」 was a pricey item that cost 50,000 points. It would be hard to find someone who had an item of this caliber, not just among the new players, but even among players on the 10th Floor.
Vulcaro knew that he wasn’t just an ordinary guy, but for him to have placed first in the Tutorial while setting a historic record for the clear time…
“Surely with that kind of record…”
His doubts on where YuWon got the item disappeared, and his face showed clear resolve.
“The only thing I can do right now is refine it.”
It was a yes.
YuWon smiled wide. He didn’t expect any more than that to begin with.
“Is it because you lack materials?”
“Using any old cheap material will just harm it. You need a material that can handle the power of the crystal.”
Vucalro looked around his workshop. It was full of old, crappy equipment.
“Are you sure you want to leave this to me?”
“Yes, I do.”
“You’re a crazy son of a bitch,” Vulcaro cackled. He firmly grasped the fragment of the 「Helm of Invisibility」 within his hand. “You don’t think I’d run away with this thing?”
“Do you know what your eyes look like right now?”
“I’m not too bad at physiognomy.*”
*TL/N: Physiognomy is the practice of assessing a person’s character or personality from their outer appearance, usually the face.
YuWon took a close look at Vulcaro’s eyes.
“If you wanted the crystal, I would see greed in your eyes, but instead, you look super excited.”
Vulcaro turned his head in surprise. He saw the reflection of his face off a piece of armor hanging on the wall. Without realizing it, the corners of his lips had curled up, and his dead, muted eyes had recovered their shine.
“You trust me? Even though it’s an important item?”
He said “important,” but that was an understatement of the fragment’s value.
Vulcaro’s gaze was aimed at the crappy items hanging on the wall. He was asking if YuWon trusted him despite him being the creator of these awful items.
YuWon nodded his head without hesitation. It was Vulcaro. Not to mention, there was no one else he could trust with this except him.
“Of course I believe in you.”
“You sound like you know everything about me.”
“I’m a pretty good judge of character.”
A dull edge. A lackluster handle. Everyone would say that this sword was a failure. It was such a poor product, it felt like the metal used to create it had been wasted. It was to a degree that one would believe that a normal player, not a blacksmith, created it. But…
“You can crush the edges, and you can make a lame handle… but habits die hard.”
YuWon lightly swung the sword around. It moved in a gentle line, and YuWon smiled softly.
“It seems you forgot to ruin the balance of the sword while making it.”
YuWon tested out a few more swords, spears, etc. This one, as well as that one. It was the same no matter how many weapons he handled. They all had a perfect weight distribution. Though they had a dull edge and shabby appearance, every single weapon was perfectly balanced.
This wasn’t something that could happen just by using good materials and taking the time to sharpen the blade. These were the products of a skilled and experienced blacksmith that lived by the hammer.
“Hahaha! You really are something.”
Seeing YuWon’s actions made Vulcaro put his hand to his forehead while letting out a baffled laugh. He couldn’t believe it.
They were pieces of equipment Vulcaro had hung up around the entrance to trick people. But instead of just ignoring them and passing by, YuWon had seen the true essence of the blacksmith that made them. And of all people, it was a new player that was passing through the slums.
“Who are you? You seem like a Pure-Blood. Who are you affiliated with?”
“I don’t have anything like that.”
“You don’t have an affiliation? But you are a Pure-Blood, right?”
“You’re either a Pure-Blood or not. What do you mean, ‘something similar’?”
Vulcaro looked down and let out a small laugh before looking back at YuWon.
“Fine. I’ll accept the job. Since you trust me, I’ll do the best refining there is.”
“But, I have a condition.”
Vulcaro zipped his lips.
“You need to keep where you got this refined, as well as the fact that this object has been refined, a secret. You can do that, right?”
He was doing everything he could to stay hidden.
It was truly a pity that a blacksmith of his caliber was rotting away in hiding. However, there was nothing YuWon could do about that right now.
“… Of course.”
The only thing he could do was keep his promise.
YuWon gave Vulcaro his number.
When you contact a number that’s been registered into your player kit, as long as that player is on the same floor as you, you can communicate by talking with it like a cellphone.
Ten days. It was longer than he had expected, but it wasn’t an unbearably long time to wait.
‘I had to remain on the 1st Floor for a while anyways.’
YuWon went and found an inn.
Because of the influx of new players, the hospitality industry was at near max capacity. Luckily, a decent inn had an empty room, so YuWon was able to find a place to rest quickly.
Set on clearing the Tutorial as fast as possible, he had been going at it full force without any proper rest or sleep.
YuWon slept for over half a day, until the sun rose.
“Breakfast for one. I’ll take whatever, as long as it comes out quickly.”
After waking, YuWon went down to the restaurant on the 1st Floor. It was a fairly large place. And after paying three points, breakfast was served. It was a pretty good spread.
He had picked an inn at random, but it seemed that he had managed to find a pretty decent one.
‘Ten days is plenty of time.’
YuWon picked up a piece of bread.
‘The Jackals will get together four days after the Tutorial is over, so that’ll be in two days.’
This was intel he gathered by asking the Jackals he had captured. He had asked a few groups of Jackals, and all their responses were the same. The time and location matched across the board.
Now the real problem was the number of them.
‘It’d be more convenient if I could catch and kill them all alone…’
YuWon went over his plans while chewing on his bread.
‘But since I’m unable to do that currently…’
“So you were here.”
YuWon looked at the man who sat down in the chair across from him. A man with wide shoulders and golden blonde hair who stuck out no matter the place. It was Hargaan.
“How did you find this place?”
Hargaan ordered his food and turned back to YuWon. It seemed he came without his companions.
“I searched all over for you. I asked around for the name of Kim YuWon, and this place came up.”
“That wouldn’t have been easy.”
“I got some connections. I ended up using some people.”
YuWon nodded his head in response to Hargaan’s answer. He should have guessed.
Floor One was where Olympus displayed the greatest amount of influence, and at the end of day, Hargaan was the son of Zeus, the Ruler of the Skies. Something like finding someone staying at an inn was probably a piece of cake.
“You got a player kit, right? Give me your number.”
“I never thought I’d end up getting hit on by a guy.”
“I didn’t know you had jokes. I thought you’d have a stale-ass personality.”
“I wouldn’t say I’m exactly fun either.”
YuWon gave his number to Hargaan. When they were done exchanging numbers, Hargaan’s food arrived.
YuWon asked while taking a bite of his soup, “When are you planning on climbing up the Tower?”
“In about five days.”
“And what are you doing till then?”
“I’m planning on leveling in the outer region. I also need to increase my team’s teamwork. I’ll need at least five days for that.”
A normal conversation.
YuWon put down his spoon.
“If that’s the case, do a job with me.”
Hargaan was surprised by the unexpected proposal, mentioning a job out of nowhere.
This was the first time YuWon had suggested something to him first. He came unannounced to get his number, yet here was YuWon asking for something out of the blue.
“What kind of a job is it?”
Hargaan’s ears perked at where the talk was going.
“I want to exterminate them.”
“You want to exterminate what?”
The Jackals. They were the scourge of the 1st Floor. It was unknown how many there were or if they were a structured organization. So exterminating them was considered impossible.
Yet here was YuWon suggesting exactly that.
“Just sorting them out would be a problem in itself, but I don’t think this is something that’s possible to do with just ten people.”
“Not ten. Just two—you and me.”
While wiping his lips with a napkin, YuWon watched Hargaan’s shaken expression.
“If you can’t, I can do it alone.”
“First, tell me more details.”
“It’s a bit too early right now. Come back here tomorrow night. I’ll tell you then.”
Hargaan nodded his head. He didn’t finish his meal. There were far too many thoughts inside his head for him to continue shoving food in his mouth.
Hargaan got up from the table first.
“Alright. I’ll see you then.”
“Going so soon?”
“I have a lot to take care of if I’m going to make time to meet you tomorrow night.”
Hargaan seemed to have taken quite a liking to the team he had formed during the Tutorial, trying to grow that team so they could climb the Tower together.
‘He’s really putting his heart into it.’
YuWon watched Hargaan leave the restaurant. And then…
“It seems like you’ve been waiting for a while.”
He looked back at the man sitting at the table behind him, who had been sitting with his back to YuWon.
“Now that that’s over, why don’t you tell me what business you have with me?”
“I was quite surprised because Sir Hargaan showed up out of nowhere.”
The man had been having a meal by himself and wore a hood.
“This is our first time meeting each other, right? Nice to meet you.”
YuWon locked eyes with Agamemnon, who stood up from his seat.
“I came from Olympus. Are you free for a quick talk?”