[Noun] The skill and aptitude to do something.
“….are you perhaps talking about that talent, the dictionary meaning kind?”
I asked while looking down at the glowing bead placed above my right hand.
Its size is about half my palm.
An enormous amount of light illuminated from its surface.
It was more like a small sun than a bead.
There are a total of three cases in which a player acquires a skill.
One is when a player is given a skill at the same time of awakening.
Another is when a skill is acquired through an accidental action or realization once the system requirements are met.
And the last one is, through a ‘skill ball’ personally sponsored by the Guardian deity.
Some people emit lighting through their hands, summon meteorites and run like the wind through this one small bead.
While some people hit the ground in regret for getting trash-like skills, one is better off not receiving them.
Yeah, you’re right. That was me.
‘But I’ve never heard about being sponsored a talent through skill ball.’
Not only me but when I think about all the players around the world, it’s an unheard concept.
[‘Sung Hyun-sook’ is rushing you and says “To see is to believe that’s why open it up first!”]
Wait. What’s this uneasiness?
For some reason, it feels the same way as when I was given the vitamin pill filled with love.
‘But mom can’t feed me anything bad!’
Now I have the trust, faith and my mom who is completely in debt!
I can feel it.
Just like the vitamin pill, This brightly burning ball will brightly light up my second life!
But I should still check out its info, right?
Name: Blood is thicker than water
Description: It is an essence containing the talent of a Guardian deity that was once called a war goddess by everyone. By inheriting her courageous spirit, you will only walk on the path of victory in all the battles and threatful situations ahead.
Effect: Regardless of the type, the proficiency in using any weapon and other different abilities will increase. However, The rate of increase is proportional to the influence of the sponsored talent.
Just when I was reading the skill info and thinking to myself that this cheat sheet is too generous.
Suddenly a pillar of light appeared on the field.
<The 1st wave is starting>
<Please eliminate the monsters in the field within the given time limit>
<Time limit: 60 seconds>
A number of goblins began to growl as they broke through the pillar of lights.
Goblin? I know it’s the 1st wave but the hurdle is too low-
….is what I thought but soon such thoughts disappeared as soon as I saw the heavy-bodied ‘Goblin champion’.
A goblin champion huh. It’s going to be one hell of a ride in the first wave itself.
The pillar of light disappeared after the appearance of the goblin champion.
A small herd of goblins rushed toward me, roaring fiercely.
“To see is to believe you say…”
I swallowed the skill ball I was holding in my hand.
Its heat flowed from my adam’s apple to my stomach.
Just like during the vitamin pill filled with love, there wasn’t any apparent change in my body.
[‘Sung Hyun-sook’ smiles and says “You can’t tell if you have the talent or not until you try it out for yourself.”]
The distance between me and the goblins grew drastically narrow.
Just before I wielded the swording I was holding onto with both my hands, these words suddenly passed my head.
-The rate of increase is proportional to the influence of the sponsored talent.
My train of thought was cut off.
The group of goblins who had a small physique, took a step forward casting a shadow over my avatar.
At the same time, a flash of light drove the cast of darkness away from me.
When I realized the situation, the sword in my hand was already drawing a strong trajectory that cut through the air.
The goblin’s waist was cut off before his feet even touched the ground.
The polygons of the guy embodied in this augmented reality split like particles and disappeared.
The message appeared a bit late.
[The sponsored talent shows 100% of influence!]
[Talent of Guardian deity ‘Sung Hyun-sook’ has been inherited perfectly!]
I froze for a moment in confusion.
This wasn’t my first time using a sword.
Before regressing, my Guardian deity was Joong-won Sword Deity, and as you can see from his nickname he was a swordsmanship master.
That’s why, naturally while being sponsored by him, I had no choice but to use a sword as my main weapon.
‘This is a completely different level from back then’
The sword path, which was never visible to me while swinging the sword during my first life, appeared so clearly just now that I could see it.
It felt as if this sword in my hand became a part of my body!
This is what talent is huh.
[‘Sung Hyun-sook’ blows her nose, is proud and says “Of course, after all whose son are you!”]
The champion’s eyes widened at seeing the goblin who was destroyed in seconds.
“You surprised too?”
“Cause’ I’m surprised too.”
Let’s get surprised one more time now.
The abusive language of association president, Lee Tae-ho and the sound of a gnoll crashing to the ground overlapped.
Lee Tae-ho, who was monitoring the current status of the CF through a screen was speechless.
And that’s not it.
Researchers who were operating the machine facilities in the capsule room and Yoo Su-yeon, who standing next to Lee Tae-ho, also covered their mouths in surprise.
<4th wave complete.>
<The 5th wave is starting,>
The fifth wave started.
About just 30 minutes after Jae-min started the CF.
And Jae-min’s damage during the whole 30 minutes was zero!
Forget getting hurt, there wasn’t even a drop of sweat on his face.
There was no doubt that avatars implemented every single human physiological phenomenon.
Even Yoo Su-yeon who was quiet all this while had no choice but to speak out this time.
“President, this is…”
He didn’t think of it much when he took down six goblins with a single blow and defeated the champion during the first wave,
Because goblins are not a big deal when he has defeated orcs.
However, as the program progressed, Jae-min’s fighting spirit increased just like a fish released in water.
It was as if he kept growing each time.
“…T-that punk, why is he so good at fighting?”
After all, isn’t it too much to knock down a giant gnoll so easily?!
Not even a C-class player can do it and it takes about five players to defeat a giant gnoll together.
“Looks like the public’s judgement was accurate. Mr. Hwang Jae-min, I think he will be a B-class at least. “
“What do you mean by B-class. That’s definitely an A-class right there.”
“In that case, he might even be able to aim to become an S-class in the future?”
It was hard to deny it.
Lee Tae-ho remained silent while wiping the sweat between his sparse hair.
And suddenly he was reminded of a name.
Is it just a coincidence?
From the movement of the swordsmanship, the sharp eyes that accurately capture the enemy’s weak points, and the trivial habit of breathing out loudly every once in a while.
All of these things were once seen from Sung Hyun-sook.
‘There’s no way Hyun-sook could have taught him…’
She sacrificed herself to stop the world from destructing when Jae-min was ten years old.
No matter how dominating her personality is, she wouldn’t have taught a kid who hasn’t even lost all his baby fat yet to fight.
But if that’s the case then.
“He must be born with it, damn it.”
“Weren’t you already aware of it?
“I didn’t know it was to that extent.”
The five-wave pass, which was put forward as a condition by Lee Tae-ho, can be seen as accomplished at this point.
From now, seeing just how far Jae-min can improve was the only reason for still watching.
“Think of it as a good thing, president. If you get stressed then your hair will-”
“I told you not to speak about hair in front of me! I think you’re secretly enjoying it?!”
Obviously, Lee Tae-ho who didn’t want Jae-min to become a player wanted to cry if he could.
<5th wave complete>
The five waves which were promised were over.
Lee Tae-ho let out a long sigh.
“Blood is really thicker than water huh…”
How come they are so similar.
Talent-wise, personality-wise and even the paths they took in life.
Only after the end of all five waves, did a drop of sweat roll down from Jae-min’s temples.
His voice was transmitted to the control room through a speaker installed inside the field.
<That felt like it wasn’t enough.>
It wasn’t enough?
Lee Tae-ho frowned his forehead after hearing the sudden words.
<I fought like crazy but I can’t believe the only reward I’ll get for it is uncle’s permission. Like it’s not enough. Doesn’t feel worth it.>
After adjusting the voice channel, Lee Tae-ho brought his mouth closer to the microphone and said.
“W-what are you trying to say.”
<Add five more and make it ten waves.>
On the monitor, Jae-min could be seen smiling towards the screen.
<If I’m able to beat that, how about providing free equipment to me forever? Oh, of course, all with a fresh S+ grade.>
He was so baffled that he became speechless.
Did that crazy guy finally lose his mind after getting too ahead of himself?
But what Jae-min said next was frankly a bit tempting.
<Instead, since the condition is so extreme, In case I fail,
the five waves I passed just now, you can pretend like I never passed them.>
<That should be fair enough right?>
Looks like his confidence is over the roof, about to break into the space huh.
But in a way, this might be a golden opportunity.
If the other party is the one who wishes to increase their hurdles, then there’s necessarily no reason to refuse.
Though of course,
‘For some reason, I feel like Jae-min that punk might actually succeed as if it was a piece of cake.’
For it to take 5 waves for him to shed one drop of sweat, he’s a monster.
To show those kinds of skills on the day of awakening, if he’s not a monster then what is he?
It’s as if the Gods told him to become a player and gave him such a fate.
But Lee Tae-ho doesn’t believe in God.
Fate? Absolute nonsense.
‘That damned fate! So many people have gone to heaven by trying to follow it!’
Having excellent ability as a player does not necessarily increase the probability of survival.
A player’s fate is being placed in more dangerous battlefields the more excellent skills they have.
And the ones who keep roaring on the battlefield, the monsters, who can blow away a tank to dust in just one breath.
Just like the Germadon of destruction.
He can’t make Hwang Jae-min walk the same path as his parents.
It would be crazy to do so after being aware of the kind of ending they faced.
Especially now that he has grown affection towards Jae-min.
Lee Tae-ho looked back at the researchers controlling the machinery at the back.
“From now on, don’t say anything and so as I tell you.”
He instructed the researchers in a solemn voice after turning the microphone one so that Jae-min would not hear it.
The researchers who had a ‘Are you in your right mind?’ kind of flabbergasted expression after listening to his order.
It was the same for Yoo Su-yeon too, who doubted if he really meant what he just said.
“So this is how you are planning to deal with your stress-induced hair loss, president…”
“Should I just throw you inside there too?!”
“He hasn’t replied for a while.”
I rubbed my chin.
Did I go overboard asking for a lifetime supply of S+ grade equipment?
‘I should go big while I’m at it.’
What’s the use of having only good talent.
If a weapon is trashy, the good talent just keeps getting rotting away.
The saying a true master doesn’t need good tools doesn’t apply to players.
Because it’s a world where you get preferential treatment for your skills including your items.
I didn’t know a positive reply would come back so soon.
That’s strange coming from my cheapskate uncle.
<Instead let’s change the condition a bit.>
<There’s no need to go till the 10th wave. If you defeat the monster who will appear in the field now, I will listen to whatever you say.>
The moment I asked that.
About 10 metres away, on the other side of the field, a heavy object began to be created.
[‘Sung Hyun-sook’ is annoyed and says “What a petty man, he could’ve just rejected it if he didn’t want to, he always uses cheap tricks!”]
I couldn’t see the message mom sent me.
I didn’t have the time to see to be exact.
A fierce dog having one body and three heads growled looking down at me.
That’s right. Looking down.
On the other hand, I could barely make eye contact with it by tilting my head back the farthest I can.
“What the hell.”
What appeared on the field was a B-class boss monster, Cerberus.
Don’t tell me, they sent that thing over for me to knock it down?
There has to be some kind of error.
Yeah it’s okay! Everybody makes mistakes!
“Excuse me, sir? I think you’ve sent over the wrong dish over he-”
<All the best.>
The speaker in the corner of the ceiling made a bleeping sound.
But that was also the sound of me losing my mind.
No, are you seriously asking me to kill that thing? Like for real?
What kind of bullshit.
No matter how much of mom’s talent I got sponsored, it’s impossible to beat a B-class monster with my current weak body.
There’s even a limit to the vitamin power!
The cerberus swung its huge front foot while drooling as if it was starving for a few days.
If I attack it with a sword, it’s obvious that my arms will break like sorghum straw*.
I kicked the ground and stepped straight to the back.
Violent toenail marks were viciously engraved on the spot after it scratched its front foot.
Chills ran down my spine.
‘That crazy uncle!’
If you didn’t like the idea, you could’ve just said so, how can you stab me in the back like this?!
I thought hair was the only thing he was lacking but turns out he lacks conscience too.
Out of the three heads, the one in the middle opened its mouth wide.
Bright red flames began to whirl near its uvula.
Don’t tell me?
A large sphere of fire was shot from its mouth.
It hasn’t even reached me but the heat is high that it’s getting hot!
[‘Sung Hyun-sook’ screams “Dodge it!]
As soon as I read the message, scared, I crouched down almost as if I were falling.
The ball of flame that narrowly passed by the top of my head hit the wall and exploded into a blast.
The dude growled horrifyingly, perhaps angered by the fact I dodged its attack.
“I’m going nuts.”
It’s not that I couldn’t see the attack thanks to my excellent talent.
Where should I aim to make it suffer, and where is its weak point.
I was roughly drawing up a ‘path’.
However, leaving my outstanding talent aside, my body is currently too weak.
Even though all my stans have quadrupled thanks to the vitamin pill filled with love, the fact that this body was awakened only today can’t be denied.
Even if I could see the ‘path’, my arms didn’t have enough strength to attack its thick skin and my legs were not in a condition to be agile enough to safely escape after doing that.
While I was biting my lips.
[‘Sung Hyun-sook’ hits her palm and says “I finally remembered it!”]
Mom’s message disrupted my thoughts.
“What do you mean, remember what?”
[‘Sung Hyun-sook’ reminisces with a nostalgic face and says “I remember catching a few cerberus when I was younger.”]
“Don’t you think suddenly reminiscing about the past is just not right in this situation?!”
[‘Sung Hyun-sook’ shrugs her shoulders and proudly says “That’s why I know how to take it down!”]
“I love you.”
Like a lunatic, my anger melted away and I started smiling unknowingly.
But I had to quickly get rid of my affectionate smile towards mom and make a stern face again.
That’s because a giant puppy who is bad at reading the air came rushing to me.
“So what is it? The way to bring it down, tell me quickly!
My voice became urgent at seeing the cerberus literally running like a rabid dog with its leash released.
Damn it, my love for dogs ends today.
[‘Sung Hyun-sook’ suggests “Throw an object and try to move its attention somewhere else!”]
Even amidst an emergency, I had to think for a while to understand the meaning of that message.
Throw an object?
Ah so you want me to play fetch since it’s a dog, is that what she meant?
“…I hope you’re not joking in this situation?”
To be honest I was very doubtful whether that method would work on a dog who could chew concrete instead of dog treats.
But right now I didn’t have the luxury to determine the authenticity of the method.
“Ahh fuck it, I don’t know!”
I was going to throw my sword but I decided not to.
Even if I succeed in distracting it, if I don’t have the means to kill it then I’ll be done for.
In the meantime, the cerberus who was now just around the corner, roared with his mouth wide open.
Just before its fangs drooling with saliva could touch me.
I hurriedly took off the shoulder pad equipped on my left arm and threw it as far as I could.
I had low expectations. And I closed my eyes tightly.
That’s why I couldn’t even see the direction in which the shoulder pad flew.
Thud, thud, thud-!
While my eyes were closed, I could hear a roar of footsteps.
Huh, don’t tell me it really…?
I slowly opened my eyes.
I could see the back of the cerberus who was in a hurry to chase the shoulder pad that had fallen in a corner of the field.
How can the way to defeat a B-class monster be this easy?
[‘Sung Hyun-sook’ smiles and says “No matter how big it is, a dog is a dog]
It really doesn’t live up to its size huh.
“Oh but wait.”
During fetch, the dog usually brings back the object to the owner after biting it.
I don’t have any time to stand still!
“Hey, dude! Run a little slowly!’
As soon as I realized it, I sprinted with all my might.
Even though I wasn’t fast, I felt lighter because my left shoulder was empty.
At the same time, the cerberus bent down its head in the corner of the field where the shoulder pad fell.
A message appeared.
[‘Sung Hyun-sook’ gives additional advice “The cerberus’ core is on top of the head on the left!”]
I stepped on the ground and jumped towards the left dude’s head.
I clenched my hand holding the sword.
In the meantime, the cerberus was in a confusion as to how to bite and pick up the shoulder pad which was smaller than its tooth.
A ‘Core’ is basically a monster’s second heart.
If it’s the top of the head, where the skin is usually thin, we’re talking about then I can I think I can easily smash it.
“Strenghten muscle strength!”
Just in case, I decided to use a skill too.
After jumping to the highest point I could, my body fell quickly due to gravity.
The distance between me and the top of it head rapidly grew horizontally narrower.
After straightening my sword, I screamed trying to pull out every bit of mana I had in me.
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