Chapter 81. Mythical Beast (4)
『Thank you, human.』
『But what happened to those pathetic humans who took my child?』
"They’re dead. I burned their corpses just in case there was someone behind their actions.”
『That is a shame. I should have ended their lives myself.』
As it turned out, the Phoenix was going to go after the treasure hunters once her eggs had hatched.
But that being the case, the treasure hunters could have run off to a different floor and she would not have been able to find them. And even if she found them and retrieved her lost child, the hatchling would have had a hard time recognizing her as its mother.
In many ways, it was lucky for her that Yeon-woo was there to help her bring her egg back before it hatched.
『But that does not matter for my child has returned to me and it was all thanks to you.』
The Phoenix stared at Yeon-woo with attention. Yeon-woo’s figure was reflected in her large yellow pupils.
『Now, it is time to fulfill the promise I made. I will grant you what you need. Is it the Flame of Life what you need?』
"Yes, it is."
『But do you know what that is?』
"I know that it's the power of your very existence."
The Phoenix is a creature that both originates from the fire and withers in it. The flame symbolizes the Phoenix’s resurrection and regeneration.
That is the Flame of Life, also commonly known as ‘Holy Fire(聖火)’.
『Also, if you have a god or a demon that you serve, you must say so before I grant you my flame. It will harm you if you are serving any of them.』
"I don’t have any.”
It was also the reason why Yeon-woo had refused Hermes’ offer.
The Holy Flame holds holy energy that cannot coincide with that of a god's. Because the energy of the Phoenix is ‘raw’ whereas that of the gods is ‘complete’.
『Good. Is this for the beast egg you have?』
『I see. Now, I have to test all those who want the Flame of Life. but since you have already proven yourself to me, I will grant you the flame directly. Besides, I believe you would have passed the test with ease even if I gave you one.』
“Thank you kindly.”
[You have received ‘Phoenix’s favor’.]
[Intimacy with the Phoenix has increased by 200. The Phoenix will be less cautious towards you.]
[You have received ‘Qualification for the quest Flame of Life’.]
[Hidden quest (Phoenix’s test) completed.]
[You have made an achievement that is not easily accomplished. Additional Karma will be provided.]
[You have acquired 1,500 Karma.]
[You have acquired 1,000 additional Karma.]
If things were the way they were supposed to be, Yeon-woo would have had to complete a difficult quest.
Though the quest, as Phoenix said, wouldn’t have been too big of a deal for him, it would have still consumed a considerable amount of time.
Being able to skip such unnecessary quest was very welcome news for him.
『But if you wish to receive the flame, you will need to craft a suitable vessel to contain it.』
[You have received a new quest]
[Hidden Quest / Fireworks of Life]
Description: The Flame of Life, the source of Phoenix’s unlimited power, requires a special vessel to carry befitting its inextinguishable property. Gather materials from monsters scattered around the dream world and complete the vessel to carry the Flame of Life.
* List of required items
1. Albatross’ Egg (0/5)
2. Shadow Snake's Apple (0/80)
3. Lesser Dragon's Heart (0/1)
Time limit: None.
1. Phoenix's favor
2. Flame of Life
Yeon-woo clicked his tongue as he looked at the list.
‘So it’s true that it’s harder to make the vessel than to pass the test itself.'
There were about 50 different items required for the vessel. All of them were obtainable on the 11th floor, but some of them were quite difficult to acquire.
Still, if he could get the Flame of Life, it was worth the effort.
『Now, if you are finished, let me be alone with my children. Come back when you are ready.』
It was now time the egg should hatch.
Yeon-woo silently stepped back with a bow.
* * *
Yeon-woo set up his base camp not far from the Phoenix's nest.
Then, he began to make a ‘nest' for his beast egg.
Yeon-woo gathered all the best ingredients available written in the diary and built the nest.
He built a solid foundation out of twigs of Alkas Trees and laid leaves of Airy Bushes on its floor. To prevent other beasts from approaching, he spread the sap of carnivorous tree on the ground around the nest and washed the egg with the water he drew from a nearby spring.
And he made all these efforts in hopes of hatching a great Mythical Beast.
‘Can’t believe I’m doing this.’
Yeon-woo drew a heavy sigh from doing something he wasn’t cut out for.
He felt his egg trembling for the first time.
Surprised by the sudden reaction, Yeon-woo flinched a little, but he soon got back to building the nest.
A faint smile rested on Yeon-woo’s lip.
* * *
Yeon-woo placed the nest on the edge of a giant tree so that his egg could feel the breeze.
Though he couldn’t read its thought, he felt like the egg also liked the place.
‘Well, that's enough for the egg.'
Yeon-woo shook the dirt off his hands and stood up.
At last, It was time to check the artifacts from his rewards.
‘There should be… eight items if I remember correctly.’’
Ring of Ice, Skull Crest, Kratuca’s Bamboo Spear, and so on.
Yeon-woo took out the rewards and started examining the artifacts with Draconic Eyes.
A few minutes later.
‘There’s nothing useful… except for this.’
Yeon-woo grabbed an earring with small skulls attached to its bottom.
The fingernail-sized skull was holding a tiny piece of jewelry in its mouth.
Classification: Auxiliary Equipment
Description: An earring made from the skull of a player who was a Witch Doctor during his life. It was once a great artifact when it was first made, but time has worn off its past greatness. However, it is possible to return it to its past glory if taken to a skillful blacksmith.
* Scream of the Witch Doctor
The soul of the witch doctor has been bound to the skull, constantly screaming out painful cries. Its scream can slightly amplify dark element mana.
Skull Crest wasn’t the best item among all the items he received on the 10th floor. In fact, it was the worst.
Even for Yeon-woo who could handle dark element mana, an artifact with such a small buff had barely any meaning to him.
Yeon-woo, however, focused on a different aspect.
‘The soul of the witch doctor is bound inside....’
It was a great opportunity to test the changed options of the Black Bracelet.
‘Well, it’s not exactly a bracelet anymore.'
Yeon-woo chuckled as he glanced at the black chain coiled around his right arm.
Without further delay, he once again activated Draconic Eyes and focused on the Skull Crest.
As he expected, there was a horribly distorted soul lurking around the surface of the earring.
A soul that had been stuck in the earring for so long that it had lost everything except for its resentment.
Yeon-woo clenched tightly on the earring.
He then opened his Magic Circuit, converted about 30 of his 150 collected souls into dark element mana and injected mana into the earrings.
As the dark and murky energy permeated the Skull Crest, the worn out skull was dyed black and the jewel studded into the skull’s mouth shone brilliantly.
And the grotesque cries of the soul grew louder and louder.
A sudden burst of cold light shot out from the jewel,
Then the Skull Crest crumbled to dust. A sudden gust of wind started to blow from all over the place, then soon gathered into the place where the earring had shattered.
A ghost appeared in the center of the whirlwind.
It was his time creating a Spirit Familiar using the second option of the Despair of the Black King.
The still horribly distorted face was letting out a cold dim light.
The Witch Doctor’s soul was still screaming in pain even after being converted into Yeon-woo’s Spirit Familiar.
It seemed like the Witch Doctor’s mind hadn’t recovered from the damage accumulated during its time trapped inside the earring.
He found that the spirit was shaking as if it were seeing something terrifying. Perhaps he had been eaten by a monster when he was alive.
Realizing the spirit wasn’t in its normal state, Yeon-woo’s forehead wrinkled in anguish.
But knowing that there was no going back, he sighed and slowly approached the spirit.
‘I hope it works.’
Yeon-woo raised his hands and clasped the head of the spirit.
The spirit struggled to try to get away from his grasp, but Yeon-woo forcefully brought his head in front of his face and forced his eyes to meet Yeon-woo’s eyes.
Yeon-woo injected his mana into the spirit and repeated the command over and over again.
The spirit then struggled more furiously as if he was having some kind of fit.
By the time Yeon-woo started to think it wasn’t working,
「I don't want to die. I don't want to die. I don't want to die!!!」
The spirit started to scream with discernable words.
Seeing a ray of hope, Yeon-woo once again shouted the command out loud.
Then suddenly, the spirit’s scream and struggling stopped.
And before he knew it, the color of the spirit changed from a murky white into complete black.
His now clear eyes were staring back at Yeon-woo.
It seemed like he had succeeded in putting him under his control.
Though he couldn’t see it, Yeon-woo felt a string connecting him and the spirit.
‘So this is what it feels like to have a Spirit Familiar.’
Yeon-woo looked at his newly created Spirit Familiar and gave him an order.
For a second, the spirit started blankly at Yeon-woo, but he soon lowered his posture.
With eyes filled with curiosity, Yeon-woo gave out a few more orders.
Ranging from simple orders,
"Do a spin."
"Go touch that tree and come back as fast as you can."
To some movement commands,
"Do you see the fruit hanging on that tree? Pick it and put it in my bag."
And more complex and detailed orders.
"Check novelupdates for the original translation."
The Familiar Spirit followed Yeon-woo’s every command without any complaint.
Notably, when he asked the spirit to pick a fruit hanging up high on a tree, it even cast a simple spell to carry out his order.
Though he couldn’t higher-tier magic anymore, it seemed like he could use lower-tier magic without a problem.
Neither did the Familiar Spirit show any sign of defiance, nor express his opinion in any way. It seemed like it really had become Yeon-woo’s loyal servant.
Yeon-woo did a few more experiments on his Familiar Spirit.
First, he checked his speed.
His maximum speed was only a little slower than the speed of Yeon-woo with Shunpo.
Then, he checked the range.
He listened to Yeon-woo’s command within the range of a little over a hundred meters.
And as Yeon-woo tested this aspect, he noticed that the invisible string connecting him and the spirit getting thinner as the distance between themselves increased. When it got so far that he almost couldn't feel the string, the Familiar Spirit didn’t listen to his command.
Of course, that didn't mean that the spirit stopped doing what it was doing or broke free from the spell. He merely didn’t respond to his next command.
‘I need to find a way to strengthen this string.’
Yeon-woo named this string ‘puppet string’.