Chapter 82. Mythical Beast (5)
‘If I can improve the puppet string, I’d have a wider range to control the spirit.’
Yeon-woo decided to give it some thought later on.
Other than that, its physical capabilities were better than what he had expected.
The tree in front of the Witch Doctor’s spirit started to fall down after only a few strikes with its fists.
Yeon-woo then saw the spirit sneaking a glance at him. Though it didn’t have any facial expression, he could tell it was waiting for compliments, just like a dog.
When Yeon-woo gave him a few nods of acknowledgment, the dark misty surface of the spirit jiggled in reaction.
It seemed to be gratified by his master’s praise.
Yeon-woo broke into a smile but soon found himself deep in thought.
‘In the end, the conversion only upgrades the ghost’s original ability by a small extent. But it is still able to inflict physical damage, so if I get enough Spirit Familiars, they’ll be useful.’
Yeon-woo recalled the group of Evil Spirits that had attacked Bild all at once.
Individually, the spirits were weak and insignificant, but seeing them gathered together, they even made Yeon-woo flinch.
‘I did get lots of information about controlling spirits from this experiment, but there’s still a long way to go. I can’t just jump to conclusions with the information I got from testing one specimen. Besides, I still don’t know what will happen once I control multiple spirits at once, or even how many spirits I can have.’
Yeon-woo had big expectations for this new skill of his.
‘I heard that Undead creatures can evolve into higher tier creatures as they grow. Then maybe… Maybe my Witch Doctor spirit can also evolve into something greater, like a Lich.’
An army of undead.
If he could get an army of undead for himself…
For more detailed experimentation, Yeon-woo decided to convert more souls into Spirit Familiars.
As he scrolled through his Soul Collection, he found two notable souls among them.
“Giant Gnoll and Vulka?”
Giant Gnoll was the monster guarding the hidden piece of the 6th floor, Laurel Leaves, and Vulka was the hidden boss monster he had killed with Phante and Edora on the 9th floor.
They were the souls of the strongest monsters he could get in the Beginner Zone.
‘I collected their souls just in case I could find any use for them. I didn’t know it would come in handy like this.’
Yeon-woo decided to inject his mana while he was at it.
He had to use up all the souls left in his collection, but the results were quite satisfactory.
Unlike the Witch Doctor spirit, the Giant Gnoll and Vulka roared out loud as soon as they became Spirit Familiars.
Both of them were huge in size. The Giant Gnoll had a body of nearly three meters tall, and Vulka’s bulkiness made it look like it could hold several players in its arms.
Thanks to these notable characteristics, it was easy to tell each spirit apart despite their ghostly appearances.
Yeon-woo began to issue separate orders to each spirit, directing them towards the puppet strings which connected them with him.
* * *
Yeon-woo gave names to his Spirit Familiars—‘Boo’ for the witch doctor, ‘Nol’ for Giant Gnoll and ‘Ka’ for Vulka.
It made it easier to give orders individually.
Although they were given bad names, the spirits jumped up and down in joy from being named.
And just when he was about to move on, a message suddenly appeared in front of his eyes.
[You have named your Spirit Familiar.]
[The Spirit Familiar will be given an ‘identity’. It will boost the morale of your Spirit Familiar.]
[You have unlocked ‘Familiar Affinity’.]
* Spirit Familiar
Boo (Witch Doctor): 15/30.
Nol (Giant Gnoll): 8/41
Car (Vulka): 10/55
[Improve your affinity with the spirits. The higher the affinity, the stronger your bond will become, and they will follow your commands more faithfully.]
Yeon-woo couldn’t help but laugh at this strange situation.
He didn’t expect they would be so delighted just from receiving a name.
What’s more, he even unlocked a new stat called Familiar Affinity.
The spirits he collected did not have identities because they had lost their ego once they were captured.
Though the Spirit Familiars were of a higher tier than normal spirits, they were still unaware of who they were.
But it seemed that the action of giving them names had granted them some sort of meaning to themselves.
The result wasn’t bad.
He could feel the connection between him and the spirits had become stronger than before.
Given his new stat, Yeon-woo did few more experiments on the Spirit Familiars.
And the results matched his expectations.
The abilities of each spirit seemed to correlate to those they had when they were still alive.
Nol, which once had nimble feet, was faster than the others, and Ka, which had high physical strength, was slower but stronger.
If he were to set Boo as a standard for stats—his Strength, Agility, and Health being 1 each—Nol’s stats would be around 1, 3 and 2, and Ka’s around 5, 1 and 3 respectively.
‘I’ll have to collect good souls in order to create good Spirit Familiars.’
After that, he tried making them fight against some beasts.
Thankfully, it seemed like their hunting instinct hadn’t died away.
With an order as simple as ‘Kill them’, the three of them got to their positions and started fighting with decent teamwork.
At first, they didn’t seem to fight well together. But as their experience grew, they became more accustomed to each other.
‘So they possess intelligence.’
It was the biggest difference between the Spirit Familiars and normal spirits.
Yeon-woo continued to observe the movements of the spirits with amused eyes. And by the end of the day, he was able to fill up his Soul Collection.
[Number of collected souls: 500]
‘It has now more than thrice its original capacity.’
The limit used to be only 150 souls. But now, he had 500 souls contained.
Yeon-woo once again tried to use up all the souls and create as many Spirit Familiars as possible. It was to test how many Spirit Familiars he could create with 500 souls, also to see how many he could have.
As a result, he was able to create 7 more Spirit Familiars.
It seemed like ten was the limit.
‘This is far less than I thought.’
Yeon-woo had a slight frown on his face as he looked at the new spirits standing next to the original three.
The souls bound inside the bracelet, unless they were made into Spirit Familiars, were of no use except for converting them into dark energy.
The new ones, being created in a hurry, were practically useless.
Yeon-woo looked at the Despair of the Black King as he ran his hand over the chain wrapped around his arm.
Fixed chance of reaping the soul of the killed target, putting it into the ‘Collection’. The collected souls lose their memory and become corrupted, left with only deep resentment. The capacity of the Collection will increase in proportion to the user’s proficiency.
‘The capacity will increase along with the user’s proficiency… For now, I can only place my hopes on this.’
The abilities of the Black Bracelet looked great but considering it was an artifact that belonged to a previous Lord, they didn’t amount for much.
The other artifact ins his possession left by another Lord—Bathory’s Vampiric Sword, boasted an overpowering option which could steal the opponent’s stats and even some skills.
In contrast, the options Despair of the Black King had to offer were rather shabby compared to Bathory’s Vampiric Sword.
Perhaps it was because he lacked proficiency, or because the sealed abilities were that great…
Or it still had secrets yet to be discovered.
‘Since you’ve destroyed Astrape, I need you to earn your keep.’
As he looked at his bracelet with furrowed brows, Yeon-woo suddenly came up with an idea.
‘Hold on. If I want to know more this artifact, maybe I could ask Edora for help.’
Edora had a skill very similar to Yeon-woo’s Draconic Eyes. It was Insight.
Her eyes might be able to find something he couldn’t see with his own.
Yeon-woo decided to put off the questions he had about the artifact until Edora came up to the 11th floor.
Besides, he had acquired another godly artifact in place of Astrape.
『You have something very interesting with you, human.』
As Yeon-woo was about to take his hand towards the nine-layered shield hanging on his back, he heard a familiar voice ringing in his head.
It was the Phoenix’s voice.
Yeon-woo then tried to find where she could be, but no matter where he looked, he couldn’t find her.
‘Is she watching with some kind of skill?’
It was clear that the Phoenix was watching him.
“I thought you were going to rest.”
『Yes I was, but my children, they began shaking like they would break out of their shells at any moment. Now they have calmed down. But I still do not know when they will hatch, so I have been watching you to keep myself awake. Besides, the artifact you have has piqued my interest.』
Yeon-woo realized that the Phoenix was interested in the artifacts he had. It seemed to him that the Phoenix, as a legendary beast, could recognize a godly item.
But when Yeon-woo reached out to Aegis, he was soon stopped by the Phoenix’s sudden remark.
『Now, the bracelet you are wearing. Can you tell me what it is?」
* * *
Amidst the thick woods, a man was slowly limping with his whole body covered in serious burns. His half-melted face looked disgusting, and his voice was also grimly distorted. Though his body appeared to be half-dead, his eyes were still blazing with fury.
The man’s name was Leonte. He had successfully escaped from the ambush and was now running away
But he had only managed to salvage himself from the battle. The portal and the players of Cheonghwado, Bahal and Flame Beast had already taken too many things from him.
‘If only I had the ‘stone’… If only I had that heart, I wouldn’t have suffered this humiliation….’
Leonte ground his teeth in resentment at Bahal, and at the unknown player who had stolen his stone.
“You will pay for what you did, and I will make sure you do… no matter what it costs!”
* * *
The news about the clash between Red Dragon and Cheonghwado rocked the entire Tower.
They were mainly about how Bahal and Flame Beast had ambushed Leonte, and only Leonte had successfully ran away from them.
Red Dragon issued a declaration of war and put notices up on boards placed at the cities of each floor.
Red Dragon and Cheonghwado, they were the two biggest clans in The Tower.
This war was expected to bring about an upheaval.
Countless numbers of clans, rankers and players moved to get the exact picture of the situation.
They prepared themselves for the upcoming war.
And the One-horned Tribe was no exception.
“That’s the only thing I’ve been hearing since we got here. What the hell happened while we were out?”
Phante and Edora were plodding along the street where people were busily moving in and out.
Phante was currently in a state of annoyance.
After finishing the trial on the 10th floor, he thought he could finally continue his journey with Yeon-woo on the 11th floor. But unlike his expectations, he had to put a pause to his trial.
When he was meeting with the Guardian Yvlke, a bird suddenly came down from the sky and sat quietly in front of him.
The Red Crow. It was the Mythical Beast that was used as a messenger among their tribe because of its ability that allowed it to travel between floors without restrictions.
The message it brought was very simple.
‘Return as soon as you receive this message.’
It was a call-up order.
There weren’t any details written on the paper. He didn’t know why his father was calling them to come back.
However, he knew that whatever the reason was, if it was something that called for the use of the Red Crow, it must have been something very urgent.
So Phante quickly met up with Edora and escaped The Tower.
But as soon as they came out to the Outer District, they understood why their father had summoned them.
Not long after the two of them escaped the city area, they soon arrived at a small town.
It was a seemingly ordinary farming village. But the overall atmosphere was very different from any other cities or towns in the world of The Tower.
No sooner than Phante and Edora set foot on the entrance of the village, they were greeted by the farmers plowing the soil on the field.
“Phante and Edora? What are you two doing here all of a sudden?”
“I heard The Tower’s gotten pretty noisy these days. They must be here because of that. My lady! How’s it going looking for your husband?”
The townspeople appeared one by one at the news of the appearance of Phant and Edora, and soon, the town’s entrance grew quite clamorous.
The two of them also seemed to enjoy talking with the townspeople they hadn’t seen in a while.
What was strange was that although Phante and Edora were members of the royal family, it seemed none of these people watched their language in front of them.
While they were busy talking with each other,
“Oh, Phante and Edora! You’re here!”
A middle-aged man strode along from inside the village.
He was a hefty man whose body was even bigger than Phante’s, wearing a straw hat and carrying a pickaxe over his shoulder.
In appearance, he looked like nothing but a farmer.
Edora, irritated by his look, raised her eyebrows.
“I thought it was an urgent matter but I guess it wasn’t. Because someone seems to have time to waste on mere farming.”
“A man has to eat, you know. No matter how busy we are, we need to take a break every once in a while. By the way, why are you so salty today? Are you on your….”
“One more word and I’m gonna have to draw my sword.”
The man’s eyes became round at Edora’s cold attitude. Then he looked at Phante asking what was wrong with her.
Phante let out a chuckle.
“I know why. It’s because she was so excited to go on a journey with her future husband but… Kueek!”
“Shut the fuck up!”
Phante was stopped by Edora’s sudden kick to his side and flew away, rolling on the ground over to far distance.
But the middle-aged man and the other townspeople already heard it all.
“What? A future husband?”
“Oh, my lady! At last!”
“Phew! So we’re gonna have noodles soon? Should we throw a party?”
The surrounding area became noisy.
Edora covered her face with her hands.
This was the reason why she didn’t want to come back to the town. The people of her tribe were too nosy about other people’s business.
The middle-aged man put his arm over his daughter’s shoulder and gave an impish smile.
“Uhuhu. So, who is this fantastic boy that stole my daughter’s heart? I’m dying to know who he is!”
“…Put your arms down.”
“Which race does he belong to? Is he a Demi-human like us? Or is he a human? Where is he and what’s he doing now?”
The middle-aged man was busy teasing her without a care.
Edora tried to ignore his words as she rubbed her aching head.
And just when she took her hands to Shinmado,
“All right, all right. Gee, I don’t know who you took after having such a cold attitude. Can’t I even joke in front of you?”
The middle-aged man fell back from Edora and answered exaggeratedly.
Edora stared daggers at her father, but his broad smile still didn’t leave his face.
After having a good laugh with the townspeople, the man then clapped his hands to shift the atmosphere.
“Okay, that’s enough jokes.”
All of a sudden, the middle-aged man’s expression became grave. His previously playful eyes changed to hold a grave atmosphere. He gave off a very dignified look despite his shabby clothing.
“I couldn’t write the reason on the message, but you’ve probably noticed what happened in The Tower as you made your way here, haven’t you?”
 The first syllable in “With Doctor” in Korean.