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Chapter 69 - (1) The first floor

Second Life Ranker
     Chapter 69. (1) The first floor

    Inside the iron box, there was a piece of neatly folded leather armour and a strange looking black mask on top.

    Noticing something wrong, Yeon-woo examined the box to see if it contained any other artifact.

    But there was nothing else inside.

    "I think you got the wrong box. I can’t find Gyges’ Eyes in it."

    Yeon-woo said as he turned towards Henova.

    From what he remembered, Gyges’ Eyes was an amulet. An amulet in the form of a pendant or a bracelet.

    But the only thing he could see inside the box was a leather armor and a mask.

    "Those are yours."

    Henova confidently replied with a curl on his lips.

    "But these aren’t amulet."

    "Just take a look first. Once you do, you will be so full of respect for me that you won’t dare to grind my gears anymore."

    Yeon-woo cast Draconic Eyes with skepticism and examined the leather armor.

    [Gyges’ Armor]

    Classification: Chest Guard, Amulet

    Rating: A-

    Description: An amulet named after Gyges, a giant that has hundreds of eyes and thousands of limbs.

    Dwarven blacksmith Henova used the tail feathers of a Long-tailed Jackdaw, a bird known to dwell in Bladed Bushes, and combined them with the amulet, creating an amulet in the form of a chest armor.

    It boasts a very light weight, and has excellent resilience and exceptional durability that can easily bounce off any normal sword.

    Reveals hidden eyes and arms when infused with mana.

    The eyes can see through attacks and curses that come after its owner, and its invisible arms can block those that may cause harm.

    * Hundreds of eyes

    Captures any external change by making the owner’s senses keener. In times of crisis, it increases reaction speed by up to 20%.

    * Thousands of arms

    Reduces damage received from five types (physical, fire, ice, electric and holy). Also increases resistance against three types of status effects (curse, poison, arcane) and has a 15% chance to cancel or reflect the effects.

    * Forestalling Gigantomachia

    Converts a portion of the damage taken into health. If the owner’s health falls below 15%, the owner can restore their health up to 50%. Usage limited once per day.

    “…!”

    Yeon-woo’s eyes dilated with surprise after reading the description of the magic armor.

    Gyges’ Eyes was one of the most desired artifacts among many rankers because of its various defensive abilities. Abilities that can protect the owner from invisible threats, and reduces both physical and elemental damage.

    If in luck, it can even cancel or reflect the damage back to the opponent.

    But the best one among its various options was Forestalling Gigantomachia.

    Carrying an item that can refill your health back to half when you are low on health was just like carrying a spare life for himself. It could be used as an ace in the hole.

    Despite such extraordinary options, not many players had this artifact for two reasons: one is that it’s difficult to gather all the necessary materials, and the other is that there are not many blacksmiths who are skilled enough to craft this artifact.

    However, Henova didn’t just make the artifact but also took a step further and enhanced its defense function by making it into a chest armor.

    The armor so sturdy and resilient that most physical impact would not even leave a scratch on it.

    Most of all, it was so light that he felt almost zero weight from lifting the armor with his hand.

    It was a custom artifact designed to perfectly fit someone like Yeon-woo who valued mobility in combat.

    "Don't just stand and stare at it. Put it on."

    Henova pointed at the armor with his chin with his pipe in his mouth.

    Yeon-woo then put on the Magic Armor.

    As he expected, the armor was very light. And it felt so comfortable almost like a second skin.

    After stretching a few times, he slowly drew mana from his Magic Circuit.

    ‘Gyges’ Eyes has another function not indicated in the description window.’

    The reason why Yeon-woo needed Gyges’ Eyes, even to the point of wasting a whole month collecting materials.

    The moment he infused mana into the armor,

    Solid lines drawn on the surface of the armor suddenly opened up.

    It revealed dozens of pupils all in different colors, densely studded inside the seams.

    The pupils that rolled around randomly as if they were alive. There were some closing and opening as if blinking, and some looking side to side trying to find something.

    "They never fail to gross me out no matter how many times I see it."

    Henova frowned and shuddered in disgust.

    Indeed, an armor full of eyes that were moving on their own was an absolutely horrifying sight.

    But thanks to the eyes, Yeon-woo was experiencing a new realm of sensation that he had never felt before.

    As the armor and his Magic Circuit became connected, the ‘vision’ of the eyes, the information they received, was being transmitted into his brain.

    [Your senses can now scan objects in a 150% wider area and analyze them in detail]

    [‘Gyges’ Eyes’ has begun to assimilate with your senses. It will now be considered as a part of your body.]

    [Synesthesia(共感覺) has been unlocked.]

    [‘Sense Strengthening’ skill proficiency has increased. 37.2%]

    Gyges’ Eyes provides the owner with every slightest detail of the surroundings, thus capturing anything that could not be seen with bare eyes.

    And such information not only could be conveyed through visual senses, it could also be transmitted as smell, sometimes as sound.

    And this is what’s called ‘Synesthesia’, the hidden feature of Gyges’ Eyes.

    [Body improvement has been confirmed. The halted succession process will resume. 98%...  99%....]

    [Current progress: 99.1%]

    ‘Even the succession process?’

    Yeon-woo stared dumbfounded at the message for a while, but soon came back to his senses as he realized the reason behind it.

    ‘There must be something more to this armor. The Gyges’ Eyes built inside this armor, it is better than the original one in every way.’

    Perhaps it had a hidden effect that speeds up the owner’s mana circulation.

    But whatever it was, Yeon-woo could tell that Henova had worked very hard to produce this artifact.

    Henova then exhaled a wisp of smoke with his face looking contented with Yeon-woo’s reaction.

    "I feel so much better now after seeing you with that look. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but that armor also has an effect that eases the flow of mana and increases mana recovery by 10%. The basis of all the options comes from mana."

    ‘I knew it.'

    His guess was only half correct. It not only sped up mana circulation, but it would help him fill it back up. This artifact had already surpassed the point where he could call it ‘Gyges’ Eyes'.

    Furthermore, Henova's gifts did not end there.

    "There’s one more. Check out the mask."

    This time, Yeon-woo picked up the black mask.

    The mask was black with its surface glowing like obsidian and it had three red marks painted next to the eye holes.

    It reminded him of a devil’s mask that appeared in ancient mythology.

    [Henova’s Magic Mask(魔裝鐵面)]

    Classification: Headpiece

    Rating: A

    Description:  A mask which Henova, a dwarven blacksmith, put his blood into crafting. It was made with a mixture of Gon-O iron (昆島鐵) and Han iron(寒鐵) which are both known to be found only in special environments, based on Beast Lord’s Lion Mane Helm.

    * Recognition Interference

    The magic circle engraved on the mask interferes with the opponent’s cognitive ability. It also helps the mask stick to the face, it will never fall off without the wearer’s permission. Can restore itself when damaged.

    * Attack Enhancement

    Increases attack power up to 30% in proportion to the number of monsters killed within the last 30 seconds with each kill increasing attack by 1%. Also reduces the duration of crowd control skills on the user by 10%.

    * Territory of Terror

    Borrows the power of the Beast Lord, inflicting the surrounding enemies with the status effect ‘Fear’ for 15~20 seconds. Also weakens the enemies’ defense by 20%.

    **This is a ‘Growth' type artifact. The artifact can grow along with its owner, and its growth speed depends on the owner’s familiarity and proficiency with this artifact.

    **This is a ‘Unique' artifact. No same artifact exists in The Tower, and it will be bound to its owner. It cannot be transferred or traded between players.

    **This is a set item with ‘Henova’s Magic Bayonet’. When equipped together, provides the wearer with bonus effects.

    -Current bonus effect

    2 pieces: Attack speed +8%

    Hoo-

    Henova once again exhaled a puff of white smoke.

    "I just thought whatever you had on your face looked uncomfortable and stuffy, and I had nothing to do in my spare time, so I made that. You won’t get sweaty in that mask, and I bet it’ll fit you well."

    Henova spoke as if it was nothing, but Yeon-woo knew that it wasn’t as simple as that.

    The Lion Mane Helm was an artifact he gave Henova as payment for Gyges’ Eyes. But Henova actually tore it apart, made it something completely different, and gave it back to him.

    Yeon-woo asked as he fiddled with the Magic Mask.

    "...This is too much. My payment is far from enough."

    Henova snorted as if he had said something absurd.

    "Did you really think you could get your hands on the works of this great Henova with what little things you had? Just take them for now. I’m selling them to you on credit. Pay me back later."

    Yeon-woo looked at Henova.

    He was standing with his arms akimbo and his belly sticking out. But at the same time, the tips of his ears were slightly red, making Yeon-woo chuckle.

    Though Henova spoke lightly, Yeon-woo didn’t miss the heat still lingering inside the smithy.

    And through his Draconic Eyes, he had a glimpse at the image of Henova working all night long in front of the scorching furnace to give Yeon-woo the best artifact he could make.

    He knew Henova had been hiding something. But he never thought it was to give him a present like this.

    “….”

    Yeon-woo’s two eyes sank deeply.

    ‘Or, maybe it was because of Bahal.’

    It seemed like Bahal did pay a visit to Henova.

    Henova must have hammered all night long to forget about him.

    But even so, items like these could not have been made in a day.

    It could have sped it up a day or two, but he must have been preparing this artifact for a long time. All for Yeon-woo.

    And those facts made Yeon-woo feel a lump in his throat.

    ‘Maybe, he just missed having people around.’

    Henova was just an old man with a loving heart, without a person to give his love to.

    That must have been when Yeon-woo came to him.

    ‘He did not change.’

    He was sure of that.

    "What are you doing just standing with your mouth shut? Why? Are you that deeply moved by the grace of Henova?"

    Henova chuckled.

    But strangely, Yeon-woo's heart felt more bitter.

    He was thankful that his face wasn’t showing because of the mask.

    "I will put it to good use."

    Yeon-woo thanked with a bow.

    But the moment Yeon-woo turned away,

    "Oh, by the way."

    Henova caught Yeon-woo and cleared his throat. His nose was a little red as if he were ashamed.

    "Ahem! I don’t think I’ve ever asked your name. So, what is it?"

    Yeon-woo's eyes grew slightly bigger, and went back to normal.

    He couldn’t answer for a moment.

    "Come on, what’s your name? Tell me already.”

    Below the mask, Yeon-woo said something silently over and over again.

    "...Cain."

    Then he spoke out loud after a long time of silence.

    "It’s Cain."