Solo Max Level Newbie Chapter 239

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Solo Max-Level Newbie

Solo Max Level Newbie Chapter 239: The Great Explorer ‘Fessis’

Numerous inhabitants dwell within the Tower of Trials.

Among them, a few were particularly memorable for Jinhyuk.

Notables like Elise from the Ataraxia family, the middle manager Rick Henessey, and the Dark Emperor of the Heavenly Demon Church were prime examples.

And the man now before his eyes was none less significant.

The great explorer, Fessis.

‘Excluding myself and the deities, he’s the one who knows most about the Tower of Trials.’

Jinhyuk’s gaze sharpened.

While he appeared to be inspecting a tree, Fessis’s true purpose was far from it.

He was waiting.

For the players with substantial influence over the tower.

To be more precise…

‘For a conversation with me.’

Jinhyuk feigned ignorance as he approached Fessis.

“Are you studying the Isrian sapling?”

“Oh! You know about the Isrian sapling?”

“The tree that provides sap used as a source for a cure to ‘Sarcoma’, one of the incurable diseases. Though it hasn’t reached its final stage yet.”

“Haha, surprising indeed. It’s already a surprise to meet another person out here, and now your knowledge is even more astonishing. Yes, that’s exactly the reason why I am examining this sapling.”

Of course, he would be.

“It’s strange. If the goal is to produce a cure, even you would know that a sapling of this size isn’t enough to make it, right, Mr. Fessis?”

Taken aback by Jinhyuk’s remark, Fessis’s mouth fell open.

It was unmistakably bewildering.

Jinhyuk had accurately seen through the true value of the sapling selected to attract attention.

Moreover, his real name had slipped out, and for Fessis, it was as if he had botched the first move entirely.

“Hahaha. It seems I’ve met someone more interesting than I expected. Indeed, it was worth the wait, Player Kang Jinhyuk.”

Perhaps realizing no petty act was necessary?

Fessis erupted in a genial laugh.

‘Yes, I’m also pleased.’

Jinhyuk returned the smile and activated ‘Eyes of Gluttony.’

Ding!

With a refreshing sound, a status window listing the opponent’s details appeared.

——————————————————

Name: Fessis Dantalian

Gender: Male

Age: ??? years

Level: 50

Strength 23 Agility 25 Stamina 26 Magic 11 Crisis Detection 152

Available Stat Points: 0

Occupation: Explorer

Unique Ability: Layer Floatation (層階浮游)

Skills: ‘Sixth Sense’ Lv16, ‘Unyielding Stamina’ Lv16, ‘Multidimensional Map’ Lv15, ‘Art of Eloquence’ (言辯術) Lv14, ‘High Favorability’ Lv14, ‘Striking Looks’ Lv14, ‘Quick-Witted’ (臨機應變) Lv13, ‘Synergy (Passive)’ Lv12

——————————————————

[Replication Conditions: Fessis, garnering attention from numerous deities, is both an explorer of the tower and a herald spreading its news. To replicate Fessis’s abilities, both of these conditions must be met:

1. In a moment, fulfill a ‘request’ made by Fessis.

2. To recruit Fessis as an ally, you need to demonstrate how well you treat your current comrades. Continue to emphasize teamwork and boost morale. When a certain level of satisfaction is met, you will be able to catch two birds with one stone: replicating abilities and recruiting a new ally.

‘I think I’m treating everyone pretty well… the system sure is profound. It must have a different standard from humans.’]

Jinhyuk slightly tilted his head and turned his gaze back to the status window.

First to catch his eye was the unique ability section.

Fessis’s unique ability ‘Layer Floatation’ allowed for unfettered traversal between the layers below the 41st.

This meant he could bypass boss monsters or certain conditions to advance to the next layer.

However, this ability had a severe trade-off: those who possessed it had to forsake all combat-related skills.

‘It means one must purely enjoy exploring the tower without the combat aspect.’

Disappointment was unnecessary.

Even though the unique ability couldn’t be replicated, there were still useful skills amongst them.

‘Let’s see…’

Jinhyuk licked his lips.

The ‘Synergy’ skill.

A passive type that boosted stats by 10% when two or more skills were used concurrently.

‘For a multi-skill user like me, this is a must-have. I definitely need to get my hands on this.’

Thump! Thump! Thump!

His heart pounded at the thought of unleashing enhanced skills.

Above all, the thrill of replicating others’ painstakingly gathered abilities never got old.

Good.

The script was beginning to take shape in his head.

“So, what reason did you have for waiting for us?”

“Haha… There was no malicious intent. In fact, I had business with several top-ranking players and residents. Mr. Jinhyuk, you’re the fifth significant guest I’ve met this week.”

An explorer with wandering the tower at heart… meeting people seemed quite an unexpected mission.

Likely, this had to do with the ‘request’ the system mentioned.

“What sort of guest are you referring to?”

Jinhyuk questioned slowly.

Then.

“The rankings of the tower.”

Fessis revealed something unexpected.

“…The tower’s rankings?”

“Yes. As you know, Mr. Jinhyuk, among the countless residents and the players who have now joined from outside, there’s no measure to compare their standings. At least not officially.”

In the past, the Tower of Trials only vaguely measured its top rankers, without a precise ranking.

But now that reality had set in, a new standard was emerging.

System-driven.

‘Interesting. Is this another change?’

He had long since graduated from ranking games, but this was intriguing.

Not just a numeric rank, but the value of its implied influence.

It would be a significant factor in climbing the tower from now on.

‘Given it’s tied to the system and deities, higher ranks likely come with various benefits.’

Such as raising the notoriety of occupied strongholds, enhancing defense structures, and so forth.

It also lent weight to negotiations with residents.

“So you’ve been waiting to compile that ranking.”

“Haha. That played a large part. After all, the members of ‘Hardcore Corporation’ led by you are quite formidable. To complete the ranking, I thought meeting you was essential.”

“We may be few but elite… How does one participate in this ranking?”

“Oh! Are you offering to cooperate with the research?”

“Of course, I’ll help.”

To achieve the first replication condition, the ‘request’ must be fulfilled anyhow.

Naturally, there’s no need to mention that fact and reduce Fessis’s favorability.

‘You were fated to be forcefully recruited into our company.’

And right then.

[The members of the mid-sized force ‘Hardcore Corporation’ have been inducted into the ranking.]

[Those included in the ranking are Kang Jinhyuk, Elise von Ataraxia, Andria the boss monster of the fifth layer, Cheon Yooseong, ??? (sweet potato), Teresa De Lorrentia.]

A blue status window appeared.

Leaving Yu Yeonhwa and Lee Taemin aside, neither Moon Young nor Tibon, nor the five great elemental spirits made it into the rankings.

The names of both Melena, who held a prominent position in the Mage Association, and Orun, the dwarf blacksmith, were also absent.

How exacting could the criteria be?

Jinhyuk looked incredulous, but Fessis, seemingly excited by the news, kept uttering exclamations.

“Wow, it’s quite impressive. So many people included in the ranking! I’ve met many recently, but never a force with such members.”

“So many?”

“Ye-Yes, it’s a great number! There are only 1,000 ranks available. Including the high-level forces of the upper layers. There are names in the ranking I haven’t met, despite my authority. Being included is tremendous on its own. Especially, there haven’t been many players making it into the ranking.”

Gasping between his words, Fessis added:

“Of course, the ranking is influenced by achievements, influence, and other factors. It doesn’t necessarily equate to combat power, although, except in a few special cases, it tends to correlate.”

Then…

Those ‘ones’ on floor 50 must be in the ranking too.

Considering Fessis didn’t know everything, it’s fair to assume the system is managing the overall picture.

That moment.

“What’s taking so long? Did you find someone you know?”

“Sweet potato!”

Elise and the sweet potato approached from behind, with Cheon Yooseong and Teresa, full of curiosity, looking back and forth between Jinhyuk and Fessis.

“Ah, sorry. There was something intriguing, so we got carried away. Since you’re here, take a look. They say this is a newly introduced system.”

Jinhyuk gestured towards the empty air.

“Eh? What is it?”

“Sweet potato?”

“Ranking…?”

“Wow, that’s amazing.”

Their gazes lifted to the sky.

***

[???Sweet potato (28th), Elise von Ataraxia (29th), Kang Jinhyuk (117th), Teresa De Lorrentia (231st), Cheon Yooseong (688th), Andria (815th)]

[Some elements might be unassessable by the system.]

[Reliability 97.85%]

“Whoa, hang on! Are you kidding me?”

Elise shot her hand up in protest.

“What’s wrong? Looks about right to me.”

“About right? What’s about right? Why the hell am I ranked lower than that dumb lizard?”

Elise began to rage, clearly unable to accept this turn of events.

“Sweet potato!”

On the other hand, the sweet potato proudly wagged its tail within Jinhyuk’s embrace, pleased with its high ranking.

“Well, when the sweet potato manifests in its true form, it’s quite formidable. You know about the ancient kind, don’t you?”

“But what about me?”

“You were a force to be reckoned with back in your prime. Right now, it’s just not the same.”

What’s the point in recounting the glory days?

Right now, it’s a different story.

“That’s true… But I’m still quite valuable. I can outperform that jerk if I try hard enough.”

“I know. Why are you getting so downcast? It’s not like you.”

Jinhyuk lightly rested a hand on Elise’s head.

Suddenly, she seemed more docile—a deceiving illusion.

“I’m unexpectedly high in the ranking.”

“Teresa… it might be because of the significant boost when you ‘fell.’”

“Ah… because of that comrade.”

Teresa shyly lowered her head, still struggling to accept her alter ego with a completely different personality.

Understandably so.

Even to me, that version was particularly uncomfortable.

For her, it was like facing an embarrassing past at every turn.

Lastly, Cheon Yooseong growled lowly, baring his teeth.

“The gap between you and me can’t be this wide.”

“Didn’t you just whine recently about not knowing how to beat me? Have you already forgotten that?”

“I never said such things.”

Wow… does this guy carry an eraser in his head?

I’m sincerely curious how he got into medical school.

It seems more plausible that he threatened the SAT supervisor with a knife…

“Never mind. I was the fool for trying to get you to concede.”

“Hmph.”

Cheon Yooseong turned away coldly.

“Really, Mr. Jinhyuk and his comrades have a good atmosphere.”

“Does this look good to you?”

“Frayed nerves like this only happen among people who can truly trust each other.”

Still beaming, Fessis stretched himself out.

“Well then, let’s speed things up. We can’t be late to the banquet at the palace and lose the leading role to them.”

“Lose it? Who else is coming besides us?”

“You weren’t aware? At the banquet held in the royal palace, another force has also been invited besides Mr. Jinhyuk.”

Jinhyuk’s eyes narrowed at Fessis’s words.

“Another force? Don’t tell me…”

“Yes. The last of the demon kind, Belmariel. Those who vanquished him are also en route to the palace. Perhaps, Mr. Jinhyuk, you’ve heard the name ‘Gandara’.”

Footnotes:

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