Level Up - chapter 2
When Hyun Seok slowly opened his eyes, he saw a somewhat familiar ceiling.
He’s currently lying down on his bed inside a one-bedroom apartment that he resided during his youth. He had lived here until he lost his sight but when he became blind, he decided to move to a place that was more compatible with his needs.
As memories began to flood in, the person who supported him when he needed it most, came to mind. Hyun Seok then made a complicated look, yet his eyes gleamed at the same time.
“Nothing has happened yet.” he comforted himself.
The person who used to help him had died in a dungeon. But if he had really gone back to the past, then his helper’s death hasn’t happened yet. If that was the case, then he could change the fate of that person.
Having someone that you can fully trust is the biggest blessing you could ever receive in life.
And Hyun Seok has the opportunity to have that, but only if he could prevent that person’s death.
Hyun Seok abruptly stood up to calmly scan his room.
He had mixed feelings when he returned home last night and waking up from his sleep made him feel like he had experienced a prolonged dream. However, this was definitely not a dream.
“Let’s see… First of all, I’ll have to analyze the situation and then do things one at a time.”
Hyun Seok then washed up and changed. It was time to meet the people he had made acquaintance with yesterday.
They probably won’t keep their promise but it doesn’t really matter. In fact, he was hoping that they wouldn’t keep their promise.
“It probably won’t get through them until they get a taste of their own medicine.”
In the past, Hyun Seok had heard about Choi Chang Soo a couple of times. But it was too long ago that it was now a fuzzy memory. Either way, the things he had heard were not good and those rumors kept on appearing until one day, it all stopped. It was as if he suddenly disappeared from the world.
Chang Soo had probably died at that time.
But now, whether it’s something fortunate or not, something will definitely change.
Hyun Seok left the apartment and glanced at the building that was full of memories. But he couldn’t let those memories hold him back. There’s no point in doing so anyway.
When he finished organizing his emotions, he coldly turned his back and walked away. After all, there won’t be a reason to return to this place.
* * *
The Dungeon Headquarters…
Hyun Seok stopped his track at the sight of the enormous building across from him.
He thought he had his emotions in control but now that he’s in front of the building, he involuntarily sighed.
This place is in charge of everything that has to do with dungeons. Every player participating in dungeons must register at this place for proper management.
However, there were still quite a lot of unregistered players. Of course, those people were mostly guilty of foul plays.
Hyun Seok took a step in the building.
He came to this place to sell the magical core of the Thunder Dragonfly with a size befitting a mutated species.
“What was the market price for cores at this time again?”
Before he died, that is, 20 years later, a core this size is worth about 100 thousand won. (approximately ten thousand USD)
At that time, the magical cores were everywhere and were categorized as common goods so the price was relatively low.
But that wasn’t the case right now. A magical core’s price was currently popping off the roof because the supply couldn’t keep up with the demand.
“I guess it will be around 100 million won.” (100,000 USD)
It’s no surprise that the magical core’s price is this high since no one has yet to figure out the fundamental relationship between the magical cores and the magical beasts.
Therefore, the chances of extracting a core from a magical beast’s corpse were meager.
Although the method to capture a magical beast is essential, the slaughtering method is far more important.
If a creature wasn’t properly slain, the power inside the stone will leak. If that happens, then the magical core would dissipate within the beast’s organs.
The study for the magical core extraction will start three years later. But as of now, no one feels the necessity to research this topic.
That’s why this period is crucial for Hyun Seok.
“I need to make use of this time and earn money to properly set a firm foundation.”
To execute his plans, he needed a massive amount of money.
When he walked into the building, he hesitated for a moment.
He had been to the Dungeon Headquarters countless times before, but that was when he was blind. It has been a long time since he could see something with his own eyes.
“The interior looks different from what I remember…”
Of course it was, since there was a 20-year time difference.
More than that, the service center which Hyun Seok mostly used was nowhere to be found as this was the primitive version of the Dungeon Headquarters.
“I believe that this building had lasted about… 10 years?”
Ten years later, this building will cease to exist. He remembered that very clearly because Hyun Seok himself was there when the building had collapsed.
Putting his thoughts aside, he looked around his surroundings.
There were numerous people in the hall. Some were busily taking care of their business, and others were leisurely doing something else. There were also a few people sitting at their table while enjoying their morning coffee.
Hyun Seok once again scanned the place and slowly headed towards the room at the right end.
The layout of the Dungeon Headquarters was very simple.
There was an enormous hall at the center and the numerous lined-up doors created a semi-circle.
There was a line of people waiting in front of every door.
These individual rooms were created because most players don’t want to reveal their personal issues. And inside each room is a receptionist who provides services or consultations for the players.
Hyun Seok headed towards a door that doesn’t have a line of people.
There was a sign in front of the door that indicated whether somebody was in the room or not, so it was easy to tell.
After a while, a player left the room, and Hyun Seok walked inside.
The room was very simple. There was a counter window and in front of it was a comfortable seat.
Hyun Seok then sat down and sunk into it.
The receptionist sitting by the window respectfully asked, “Hello, how can I be of service to you today?”
Hyun Seok took out the magical core and settled it on the counter table.
The receptionist took the core and with sparkling eyes, she began to observe the core.
The magnifying glass that she was using was a mass-produced artifact used to measure mana.
“It has 1253 mana in it. I will need more time for more detailed statistics, but considering the current market price,… taking out the commission fees, it will be a little over 100 million won.”
Hyun Seok then took out a card that he prepared beforehand and gave it over to the receptionist.
“Put half of the money into this card, and with the other half, I’d like to purchase materials and resources.”
When the receptionist heard that he will be purchasing resources, her eyes sparkled once again. She knew that players who purchase resources are very special.
Hyun Seok handed the list of resources that he needed.
The receptionist took it, and after reading, her eyes gleamed even brighter.
“These… These materials are not commonly used, but we have a lot in stock. Are you planning to experiment with something new using these materials?”
Instead of answering, Hyun Seok just waved his hand, prompting her to just go and handle his request.
The receptionist took a deep breath, stood up, and went into the inner room.
There’s a huge storage area behind the reception area that was also connected to every room. There were employees working inside so when a player requests something from the storage, they could acquire it immediately.
That’s why Hyun Seok’s request was handled very quickly.
The receptionist returned while carrying a bulky bag filled with the materials he had asked for.
Hyun Seok poured out the materials on the table and checked the contents carefully.
Once he finished checking, he nodded his head and repacked. He also took the card back from the receptionist.
After seeing Hyun Seok off, the receptionist mumbled, “Seeing his records, he is undoubtedly a rookie… There were always people like him. Acting almighty like a pro but they always end up dying early on. HA!”
When she finished her thoughts, the door swung open, and the next player came in. The receptionist then quickly regained her composure, and with a business smile, greeted the incoming player.
* * *
Hyun Seok smirked.
“Well, I guess it would have seemed like that.”
The receptionist mumbled to herself in a small voice but with Hyun Seok’s highly sensitive ears, he heard everything very clearly.
He’s grateful that the heightened senses he got from when he became blind were still with him because it will be a great weapon for him later on.
“There are other weapons here too.”
Hyun Seok grinned as he lifted the bag over his shoulders.
Returning to the past is equivalent to knowing the future.
And Hyun Seok was well-informed of all the great inventions and research discoveries that would shake the world in the future.
Obviously, he can’t reproduce all of them as Hyun Seok only has limited knowledge, but there were many simple yet useful things racked up inside his head. It may have been common knowledge in the future, but right now, they are all discoveries that could bring him fame and fortune.
“Alright! Let’s start with this.” Hyun Seok softly patted the bag lying on his shoulders.
He couldn’t make or do anything with the materials in the bag alone, but if he has that thing, then he can create something phenomenal.
…and that thing he’s lacking was none other than the eye of the Thunder Dragonfly.
“Should I go hunt some dragonflies?”
Granted, hunting a Thunder Dragonfly all by himself is not an easy task. He needed someone to help him hunt, and right now, Hyun Seok was on his way to meet that person.
The Dungeon Headquarters was located at the center of the city so there were always people bustling around the streets. It’s no wonder that the shops and merchants here are flourishing.
Hyun Seok walked inside a café and found a seat. He’s now in their meeting place.
“He’s still not here? I mean, I guess it takes some time for him to get here.”
“He may come late on purpose, but he would have to come even though he didn’t want to.” Hyun Seok said with a wide grin on his fine.
He checked the time and noticed that three hours had already passed. He also came late to begin with, so he just leisurely ordered a coffee and began to review his plans.
Hyun Seok was lost in his thoughts, but when he lifted his gaze…
“He finally came.”
Hyun Seok turned his head towards the window and saw Chang Soo running desperately towards the shop while his face was covered with anxiety.
“That’s why you have to keep your promises.” Hyun Seok muttered as he grinned.
The door swung open, and Choi Chang Soo rushed inside. With his trembling eyes, Chang Soo went looking for someone.
And when he finally saw Hyun Seok, Chang Soo had let out a sigh and staggered his way to the seat in front of him.
He stared at Hyun Seok with a murderous look as the malicious tension between them intensified.