Solo Max Level Newbie Chapter 126

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Solo Max Level Newbie Chapter 126: How a Vet Wins at the Festival (3)

The atmosphere had changed.

No, it wasn’t just the atmosphere.

“Ah…!”

“How can such a beautiful melody exist…?”

“This can’t be possible.”

The fine hairs on my skin stood on end.

Mouths that were shut slowly opened.

[Titanic – My Heart Will Go On]

In the past, I’d played the recorder, ignoring pitch and rhythm.

Of course, now was completely different.

The skill ‘Heavenly Melody’ didn’t just play an instrument; it reproduced the background of the piece and memories associated with it.

The gentle melody unfolded a vast ocean (大洋) before everyone’s eyes.

[Every night in my dreams…….]

There was a man who dreamt of a new world to live in.

There was a woman who, trapped in a cage, wished only for death in despair.

This song…

It held the story of those two people.

[I see you. I feel you…….]

The man met the woman.

The woman met the man.

They met each other as if by fate.

[Love was when I loved you…….]

The man resolved to die to save the one he loved.

And…

The woman resolved to live to honor the one she loved.

The melody continued to play.

The poignant rhythm resonated through the woods.

In the silence where even breathing seemed to stop,

Jinhyuk moved his hands swiftly towards the climax of the song.

His slender, long fingers tenderly caressed each string of the instrument.

[Once more, you open the door……!]

None here had ever seen the movie.

Obviously.

It belonged to the world outside the Tower.

However,

Everyone present, transcending language and culture, could feel their hearts racing.

It was beautiful.

Unable to express it any other way, their whole bodies shuddered with awe.

“It’s unbelievable. How can a mere human…”

Teslon’s pupils shook like they were struck by an earthquake.

[Decartran] was an instrument rumored to be difficult for even elves to play.

Its 49 strings each resonated with different magical energies, producing tones that varied with the angle of the instrument.

Yet, such a dazzling performance…

It was hard to believe, even as they watched.

‘No, it’s not just his hands that are impressive.’

Understanding of the instrument. But more importantly, the level of understanding of the current piece being played sent shivers down the spines of those listening.

Teslon had sworn he wouldn’t show any reaction, whatever the case…

But this was too much.

He had to admit that his opponent was a monster of a different class in the realm of music.

At the same time.

‘Damn it…’

Images of his own future appearance with cat ears, tail, and rabbit shoes skidded across his mind, along with his vow to never gamble with the guy again.

***

The five-minute long performance ended, but no applause followed.

Everyone was still immersed in the afterglow.

Clap!

“Waaah….ahhh!”

It was minutes later when the first clapping began, followed by cheers.

“Did you just hear that?”

“I’ve never heard such a beautiful piece my entire life.”

“I’m glad I’m alive…”

The elves heaved sighs of relief.

[The fire spirit ‘Salamander’ shoots a small flame upwards.]

[The water spirit ‘Undine’ swallows a water droplet.]

Even the spirits were full of admiration.

‘Hmph.’

Jinhyuk’s lips curled up into a smile.

Last time he visited, he was banned for life for polluting everyone’s ears.

This time, the tables had been completely turned.

‘But was my recorder really that bad? I thought it was pretty decent…’

He wasn’t sure. If the opportunity arose, he’d have to try it again. Somehow, he felt confident that this time he would do well.

The clapping got louder.

Well, it’s not bad to bask in the elves’ cheers and applause…

But before that, I have to tease Teslon, who’s there making a sour face.

“Considering it’s been a while since I played in kindergarten, my hands are a bit stiff, but it was still passable, wasn’t it?”

He even slipped in honorifics as he mocked.

Rather than outright insulting or using rude language, this method was much more effective.

“Hello? Please answer me. Hello? Hello?”

“……”

Teslon bit his lip tightly.

He seemed close to swearing, his lips wriggling, but that was all.

He knew better than to speak; it would only backfire on him.

“Well then, I’ll take that as acknowledgement. Here, I have some additional costumes for you; please wear them throughout the festival.”

Jinhyuk smiled and pulled out the additional accessories he had carefully kept in his spatial inventory.

“I was wrong. Can’t you let this one slide?”

“Excuse me? Ha ha, no way. The proud race won’t go back on their word, right? It won’t happen, right?”

“Please…I beg you…”

He looked close to tears.

In fact, he may have already cried if there weren’t eyes watching.

Jinhyuk slowly reached out his head towards Teslon’s ear and whispered.

“Put yourself in my shoes. If you were me, would you have let it go?”

“…But…!”

“That’s my answer. So wear it. And who was it that said it? ‘Giving up is easy.’ If it gets too hard, contemplate that.”

There would be no surrender; there was no such option.

No deals, no compromises.

In a war, you fight until one falls to rock bottom.

That’s how you ensure they don’t ever rise again.

“Hehe. Looks like our Ranger Captain has taken quite a hit again this time. Go easy on him. Who could match up against you, Master Jinhyuk?”

Penheim had arrived with a hearty laugh.

“It was just a little joke. We’re close, right?”

“……”

Jinhyuk patted Teslon’s shoulder.

Smile. Yeah? Just smile.

“What brings you here?”

“I came because you won the concert. I have a prize for you.”

“Oh, what kind of prize?”

“Typically, you can select one of the instruments.”

Instruments…

Elven instruments certainly had their rarity value, making them an appealing prize.

They could be sold, or used to quickly enhance one’s favorability in an atmosphere laden setting.

“Can I take a look before deciding?”

“Hmm. If you want, you can do that.”

***

Penheim led Jinhyuk to a small cave.

“From here on out, you cannot enter with weapons.”

“I apologize; your understanding will be appreciated.”

Clang!

Thump!

The guards at the entrance crossed their spears.

Even a treasure vault such as this had some level of security.

“This man! He’s a benefactor who saved the village!”

“No, it’s alright. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

With a nonchalant shrug, Jinhyuk handed over the dagger and twin dragon sword he carried.

It was only proper etiquette to respect the customs of the elves now that he was on their land.

He didn’t want to cause a fuss, either.

After a few more checkpoints, they reached the deepest part of the cave.

A place where treasures of various kinds accumulated by the elves over many years were stored.

As the name suggested, the interior was filled with rare items.

“Moggy!”

Goguma’s pumpkin-colored eyes widened as he looked around.

His wagging tail suggested he’d found a treasure that caught his fancy.

Jinhyuk was just as surprised.

“Really impressive. Honestly, I didn’t expect it to be this grand.”

“Hehe, you’re too kind. Ah! Please come this way. The instruments are over here.”

Penheim indicated towards the neatly arranged instruments on the rock.

From the decartran Jinhyuk had just played, to harps and piano-like instruments,

Instruments crafted by artisans displayed their splendid form.

Any choice would be satisfying.

But Jinhyuk’s gaze was drawn elsewhere.

‘Hoo.’

The exclamation of admiration was genuine.

There was no choice. He’d once seen in ancient scriptures holy relics: ‘Pentagris’s Fang’ and ‘Pentagris’s Tooth.’

And here he was seeing them again.

Pentagris, an ancient creature that could move freely across all levels of the Tower, was a rarity.

Having seen it only once from a distance, he knew how difficult it was to encounter such a creature and related artifacts.

‘Could it be they targeted the elves’ village in order to get their hands on these?’

As that thought crossed his mind, Jinhyuk shook his head.

Unlikely.

There was no chance that he, unaware of this information, was figured out by those of Zhonghua or the martial world.

‘On second thought, it’s truly magnificent.’

The Tooth was approximately 1.5m, a longbow that could materialize magical arrows without the need for real ones.

Its range and power were top-notch; it was peerless until mid-way up the Tower.

It was unanimously recognized as a supreme holy relic.

‘The Fang is also remarkable.’

Jinhyuk’s gaze shifted to the right.

About 38cm in length, the dagger had an obsidian-like black surface but its blade glowed with a faint green light.

Lightweight and balanced, it fell into the fourth-ranked [Green] category amongst holy relics.

Gulp!

Saliva coursed down his throat.

…Desirable.

His current 10-enhanced dagger wasn’t bad, but he was in need of a more powerful weapon.

He’d be facing even tougher and more challenging foes as he went higher.

“Can I choose one of these instead of an instrument?”

“Hmm… I’m sorry, but these weapons are relics we received for treating the wounds of sacred creatures. They hold a symbolic meaning for our village, so we cannot casually give them away.”

Right. Of course.

They wouldn’t hand over items of such value as a prize.

Then in that case…

“I’ll take the decartran. After using it earlier, it just felt right for me.”

“An excellent choice. After hearing your performance, I, too, was convinced there is no instrument more fitting for you than this one.”

Penheim reached towards the instrument with a wide smile.

[Elder ‘Penheim’ recognition completed.]

[The seal is released.]

Jinhyuk’s eyes narrowed.

As expected, there was a security barrier in place.

‘2-star grade.’

In a moment, he understood the structure of the barrier and the flow of magic.

***

About thirty minutes later,

Jinhyuk emerged from the cave and parted ways with Penheim.

Penheim told him to enjoy the rest of the festival and left. Jinhyuk walked through the forest with Goguma following a narrow path.

That’s when it happened.

“Moggy!”

“Hm?”

“Baaa.”

Goguma dropped a dagger he had hidden in his mouth to the ground.

It was the holy relic of Pentagris, the Fang, kept in the cave. And somehow, underneath him was the longbow, the Tooth.

“Oh! You can’t just casually bring these out like that!”

Jinhyuk’s expression turned serious as he held his finger to Goguma’s mouth.

Theft, truly!

Seriously speaking.

Taking something without permission is genuinely a bad act.

“Moggy…”

Goguma hung his head low.

This must mean he was reflecting.

“What? Since we saved the village, we should naturally take this as our due?”

“Moggy?”

“Hmm. Well. Perhaps it’s better I put them to use rather than letting them rot in a cave.”

“Moggy?!?!”

Although Goguma shouted that he didn’t say that, Jinhyuk continued.

“Sigh. There’s nothing else to be done. I really didn’t want to go this far, but returning them now could get our cute Goguma in trouble. Seriously. Though I never contemplated it, I guess this will be our little secret.”

Right.

This was all to cover up Goguma’s mistake.

Jinhyuk glanced around.

There were no onlookers.

He could feel no elf presence.

And…

The bow and dagger that were on the ground vanished like smoke.

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