Solo Max-Level Newbie Chapter 116

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Solo Max-Level Newbie Chapter 116: Festival Where Moonlight Lingers (1)

To learn the 1-star barrier ‘Optical Refraction,’ you need to arrange three runes…

That’s an easy task.

Before the explanation could even finish, Jinhyuk quickly drew the runes. The ‘Mark of the Moon’ engraved on his shoulder emitted a blinding light for a moment.

[You have acquired the 1-star barrier ‘Optical Refraction.’]

[Congratulations on winning the Cookie Back Event!]

[750,000 coins have been refunded!]

[Would you like to attempt to learn the next barrier?]

Information was added to his existing knowledge, like some kind of rote learning. New details about optical refraction seeped into Jinhyuk’s mind.

‘Hmm. So optical refraction can be used like this?’

A smile of interest flickered across Jinhyuk’s lips. Even if he knew 99%, the freshness of that 1% made it worthwhile to learn the skill. This was why it was good to try jobs that he had never done before. He was learning facts about the Tower that he never knew before.

‘Indeed, officially acquiring it really does help in fully understanding the barrier.’

Jinhyuk immediately opened the next barrier.

To learn the 1-star barrier ‘Dark Beneath Your Feet’…

This time it was a trap-type barrier. Again, Jinhyuk drew and arranged the runes before the explanation could get halfway through. He didn’t even need to listen for hints about the basic spells.

This was the level of difficulty he could handle even in his sleep.

‘Well, it’s just a 1-star.’

Muttering indifferently, Jinhyuk received his next task. The process of challenging and refunding coins went on countless times. For most players who chose the barrier mage class, it was a difficult puzzle that they could barely solve with much effort.

For Jinhyuk, it was just the basics.

Time passed, and the numbers indicating the growth of the barriers got higher.

[2-star…]

[3-star…]

The status window flickered rapidly. As the difficulty increased, the speed of acquiring barriers became even faster. The veteran was beginning to get the hang of it.

And then…

[Stop it, you maniac!]

[Are we digging dirt to do business here?!]

[How can this guy be taking everything without spending a single coin? This young jerk…!]

The system, pushed beyond its limit, began to go berserk. It was completely disregarding what was known as business ethics, clearly irritated by the endless cycle of giving and taking 750,000 coins.

But Jinhyuk lightly dismissed the system’s warning.

“Wow. This place is really a gold mine. It’s like a generous tree that even a fool could laugh at.”

Whether they suffered losses or not, that was their problem. On his side, he was just exercising his right fairly under the established rules.

Jinhyuk further accelerated his pace. The most elusive barriers were all cleared.

Finally.

[You have acquired the 117th barrier.]

He had cleared all the barriers that he could learn. And it had only taken 2 hours and 30 minutes.

***

6th floor of the Tower of Trials.

Having completed everything outside the Tower, Jinhyuk headed to the meeting place to participate in the elves’ festival.

‘It’s leisurely for sure, but it feels like I’ve become the protagonist in an apocalypse.’

Although it was already a place where players seldom visited, after news of the 10th floor’s conquest spread, it essentially became a ghost forest. After all, only those who cleared the 10th floor and received permission from the players could enter.

Naturally, everyone must be keen on finding the Unknown entity.

Precisely…

‘They believe the Unknown to be Chon Yuseong.’

A sly grin spread across Jinhyuk’s face. He had already scattered the bait that Chon Yuseong was the Unknown in every corner of the community. Although it was purely based on circumstantial evidence, the plausible hypotheses he added caught quite a few fish.

Chon Yuseong must currently be surrounded by an army of journalists, guild representatives, and misguided fans, experiencing a scene reminiscent of Haeundae Beach in August.

He had deliberately omitted Chon Yuseong from the 10th-floor raid footage for this reason.

‘I guess I should apologize later.’

It wasn’t the first or second time he had done something like this. If he sincerely expressed his apologies, perhaps they would understand.

Perhaps…

He should, perhaps.

Jinhyuk shoved the thoughts about Chon Yuseong out of his mind. Considering the trouble that swordsman jerk had caused so far, this didn’t even come close to revenge.

Rather than dwelling on that headache, Jinhyuk took out his adorable pet from the spatial inventory.

A sweet potato toddled out, eagerly looking around. Having been born not long ago, everything must have seemed fascinating.

“Green bug!”

“Right, that’s grass.”

Jinhyuk watched the sweet potato sniffing the grass with a content expression. Watching the black sweet potato squirm around, he thought that someday he would like to take it to a floor covered with white snow. After all…

Grilled sweet potatoes were a perfect match for winter.

The happy and peaceful atmosphere continued until the sweet potato tried to eat a poisonous mushroom.

“Wait! Don’t eat that!”

“Red bug!”

The sweet potato munched on the toadstool mushroom eagerly. It was pointless trying to stop it. Throwing a tantrum and refusing to give it up, how could he even try to dissuade it? Of course, being an ancient species, eating a poisonous mushroom wouldn’t cause it any harm…

“Phew.”

Jinhyuk sighed, his emotions complex. It seemed that parents really couldn’t take their eyes off their children for a second.

After the commotion, Jinhyuk strolled through the forest with the sweet potato. There were about 3 hours left.

He needed to hurry to arrive on time.

After walking through the familiar forest and trees, they finally reached the agreed location.

But…

‘Damn these elves.’

Even though he arrived on time, as expected, Sylvie’s figure was nowhere to be seen. Was a one or two-hour delay considered just a trifling gap for beings who lived for thousands of years? He was honestly tempted to see if they would still take time lightly after being hung upside down for the duration…

However, Jinhyuk shook his head.

Forget it.

It’s pointless to debate the value of time with creatures who play at being immortal.

‘I might as well finish up what I didn’t have time for at the hotel.’

He had originally planned to do it after entering the elven village, but now that he had some free time, it wasn’t a bad idea to handle it now.

Jinhyuk activated his status window.

——————————————————

Name: Kang Jinhyuk

Gender: Male

Age: 27

Level: 35

Strength 20 Agility 20 Vitality 20 Magic Power 80 Rift 100 Luck 10 Adaptive 78

Remaining Stat Points: 15

Coin Balance: 127,558

Job: Rune Interpreter

Unique Abilities: ‘Fusion,’ ‘Sword Grave,’ ‘Star’s Blessing,’ ‘Judgment of Anubis,’ ‘Blood Demonic Qi,’ ‘Mandala,’ ‘1-Second Invincibility’

Skills: Lv6 ‘Fire Element’, Lv5 ‘Gluttonous Eye’, Lv4 ‘Sympathy’, Lv5 ‘Soul Brand’, Lv4 ‘Poison Eater’, Lv4 ‘Shallow Breathing’, Lv8 ‘Ice Sculpting’, Lv4 ‘Daylight’, Lv2 ‘Giant’s Grasp’, Lv3 ‘Soul Chasing Sword’, Lv1 ‘Double Agent’, Lv1 ‘True Taeching Warrior Heart Method’, Lv2 ‘Sword Demon Emperor Steps’, Lv1 ‘Blurred Scent’, Lv1 ‘Mind Barrier’, Lv1 ‘Celestial Melody’, Lv1 ‘Otherworldly Restaurant’

Barriers: The number of barriers learned is too many and has been ‘collapsed’ for display.

——————————————————

The content was packed with value—proof of his diligent efforts up to this point.

‘It seems barriers are displayed that way because there are so many of them.’

The important thing now was to distribute the stat points gained from defeating the Stone Giant.

Jinhyuk’s eyes narrowed. Until now, he had primarily increased his magic power, but now it was time for a change.

‘I skipped 4 floors at once, so from the 11th floor, I’ll need to balance out the other stats.’

Especially vitality.

To synergize with the passive ‘Shallow Breathing,’ it was better to increase the vitality stat. It would be beneficial for longer battles or chaotic fights that were likely to occur.

[Strength increases from 20 to 22.]

[Agility increases from 20 to 22.]

[Vitality increases from 20 to 31.]

While he raised other stats, he heavily prioritized vitality. With the stat distribution complete…

‘I’m getting stronger and stronger.’

With the experience of a veteran and his skills filling out, combined with the massive stat rewards from being the first to clear challenges, Jinhyuk’s heart began to pound.

Thump! Thump! Thump!

Excitement swelled within him, seeing himself grow to a level nobody else could match.

Yes.

‘I’ll always be the first to pave the way.’

Without a single mistake, only seeking the best process to achieve the supreme outcome. That’s why he had claimed victory atop the tower.

And…

‘If not me, then who can reach the tower’s peak?’

No one else can.

Only one in this world.

I alone can conquer this tower to the end.

Jinhyuk steeled his resolve once more. At that moment…

“Oh! You’re here early!”

An elf with short hair and pointed ears emerged from the bushes. It was the ranger, Sylvie.

Jinhyuk’s eyebrows furrowed like the character 人.

“…You’re early?”

Early?

“Why, what’s wrong?”

“Do you have any idea how long I’ve waited here?”

“Ah? Th-that was because I also… didn’t really…”

Sylvie stuttered slightly, shaking her head.

Ah, you’re in for it now.

“Do you see this? I waited so long that mushrooms started growing on my body.”

“Uh… I don’t see them though…”

“Keep quiet! Who asked you to speak! And besides, my child got an upset stomach from that thing you ate!”

Jinhyuk pointed to the sweet potato’s mouth.

“Red bug!”

Bits of the clown mushroom clung to the sweet potato’s mouth. It was an absurd claim, but faced with Jinhyuk’s rapid barrage of words, Sylvie’s face went deathly pale, her lips trembling uncontrollably.

Toying with a green rookie ranger was nothing. It was like comparing a century-old snake to a just-hatched yellow chick.

Eventually, Sylvie paid the price for being just over 30 minutes late.

“I… I’m sorry. I thought I came early. Didn’t think you’d be waiting that long.”

“Be more careful next time, okay?”

“Yes! I’ll definitely come on time.”

Sylvie nodded quickly, her demeanor completely submissive. Jinhyuk’s mood softened somewhat, seeing her compliant attitude.

There’s nothing like a frightened newbie’s respect to relieve stress.

“Now that’s out of the way, what took you so long?”

“Actually, there’s work related to the festival. It might sound like an excuse, but I was really busy.”

“Sure, gathering ‘Swamp Figs’ isn’t an easy task.”

Jinhyuk’s comment sent a jolt through Sylvie’s eyes.

“H-how did you know that?”

How did he know? He had visited the village before and had been nearly banished permanently. He remembered how the elves had strained their backs gathering those fruits.

“I heard it somewhere.”

After giving a vague reply, Jinhyuk turned towards the forest.

“But, that’s the way to the village…”

Tsk, tsk.

And you call yourself an elf.

“This way’s much faster.”

Though Sylvie reached out, Jinhyuk ignored her and took the lead.

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