The amount of internal energy within the Deepsea Core was originally 60 points, which corresponds to 30 years.
On top of that, Yongno had imbued the core with 30 points of spiritual force, or 15 years of internal force, so the total amount of internal force within the core was 45 years.
Of course, there was no way for Yongno to utilize this internal force directly.
Since the core’s internal force was not Yongno’s to begin with, he would have to purify and convert the internal energy to make it suitable for his Golden Pill Immortal Technique.
Yet, his process was more difficult because the internal energy was not within him; it was in an external object.
However, Yongno did not fret.
There was a Qi Gong Technique that he could utilize.
Despite having not perfected the technique yet, there were still many things that he could do with what he knew.
Yongno felt satisfied as he held up the golden Deepsea Core.
It had essentially been converted into an internal energy device, entirely separate from himself.
It contained 45 years of internal energy, a much greater capacity than his 15 years.
Though the core wouldn’t be able to replenish the internal energy contained within it, Yongno’s rate of internal energy recovery was stellar, so he felt that this type of external storage device would come in handy.
Moreover, since all the internal energy within the Deepsea Core was from the Golden Pill Immortal Technique, he would have no trouble utilizing it on demand, especially when executing his hand skills.
“Hmm, but it’s a bit cumbersome.
If I have to carry it around everywhere, then… oh!”
Yongno raised his left hand.
On his middle finger was the unique-ranked item, Wicalein’s Ring, which Yongno imbued a small amount of internal energy into.
A fist-sized light glowed atop the ring.
It was a spirit that only Yongno could see, a man-made soul that had the intelligence of a small dog.
Yongno threw the Deepsea Core- no, the Golden Core, or the internal energy storage device, into the air.
Then, he imagined the spirit catching the device mid-air.
Quickly, the spirit snatched the device from the air and soon circled Yongno.
Any outside observer would think that the golden device was merely floating around Yongno.
When Yongno extended his arm outward and raised his hand, the device landed accurately on his open palm.
Generally, it was difficult for users to manipulate the spirit within a Wicalein’s Ring with such ease and grace; however, Yongno was exceptionally gifted in imagery and spatial reasoning, so he was able to control the spirit freely.
“It would be beneficial for you to imbue your internal force into the ring.
The spirit which resides in a Wicalein’s Ring is a growth type entity, so if you constantly feed it your spiritual force, it’ll be able to do more things.”
Yongno stood up as the slim girl in her late teens appeared next to him unnoticed.
With her blond hair worn in two braids, one simple smile from her would probably move thousands of young men’s hearts, but Mari did not seem to be in high spirits.
“Have you fully recovered?”
What do I have to do to complete this quest again? Do I need to go back upstream?”
“No, you don’t have to.
I can move us there using my spacial movement ability.”
“Are you allowed to help me like that?”
“Why are you acting as if my help is suddenly something new?”
Then, Mari grabbed Yongno’s hand, and the scenery around them suddenly changed.
Yongno found himself at the side of a river; this was where he had received his quest.
Yongno picked up the small satchel of money that he had thrown onto the ground previously before stepping onto the water to cross the river.
Once he reached the designated area, a message stating that his quest was completed popped up.
Mari and Yongno then returned to the initial testing room.
Having returned to solid ground, Yongno was left with mixed feelings.
“It’s been about a month and a half, right? It’s been a while.”
Since his initial quest was something that should have only taken around 30 minutes to complete, the extended length of time Yongno spent was unheard of.
It was the longest period that any user had spent in the initial quest area.
“The last test is [Combat].
Is it difficult?”
“The level of difficulty is comparable to all the other tests, so you don’t have to worry.
There’s a motto that the basic missions should be as simple and easy to pass as possible.”
“Then, am I going to face a small yellow chick?”
“Not that easy.
Just something a little challenging.”
As she spoke, Mari opened a door with a sign that read [1:1 Combat], and Yongno followed her inside.
“It’s a flat grassland.
And my opponent is….”
Yongno was at a loss once he saw a wolf the size of a small calf.
It had sharp teeth and claws, but what was most noticeable was the killing intent and aura that the wolf emanated.
Even if it was put here as a joke, this type of monster didn’t seem appropriate for a beginner-level test.
“Hmm… I see… it’s not a fluffy yellow chick….”
“It’s a Level 2 Dire Wolf, which is the most popularly hunted monster that resides around Starting, the beginner area.”
“This thing is what beginners like to hunt? This monstrosity? Moreover, it’s only Level 2?”
Yongno was utterly flabbergasted.
The wolf seemed keen and ready to rip apart a fully grown man.
For a moment, Yongno briefly thought, ‘Maybe it just looks more dangerous than it actually is,’ but he quickly scrapped this belief as he continued to observe the wolf.
The wolf seemed more dangerous than any canine he had ever come across or heard of.
“Hmm, why are you so afraid? This is the Level 2 test.
Since you’re taking a test to advance to Level 2, you must face a Level 2 monster.”
“A-against such a monster, what happens to the elderly or young users? None of them have failed this test?”
“Of course, we’re not expecting you to fight the monster without any consideration.
The point of this combat test is to give users a sense of how combat feels and provide first-hand experience, so we chose this type of monster.
This monster is amongst the stronger Level 2 mobs, but still, it’s just Level 2.”
The Dire Wolf was not taking the initiative to attack.
At first, Yongno thought that the Dire Wolf was programmed not to initiate an attack on beginning users, but he soon found that the Dire Wolf’s full attention was on Mari, not himself.
“That monster… is it afraid to attack because you’re here?”
Monsters know how they feel and what their instincts are telling them.
The wolf is scared out of its mind, so it’s not able to retreat or initiate an attack.
It’s essentially rooted in place.”
“Oho, I already had an idea, but it seems that you’re actually pretty powerful.”
If you practice and train for a million years, then you’ll probably be able to contend with one of my arms.”
“Ugh, such a braggart.”
Yongno gave Mari a gentle, playful knock on her head.
However, what Yongno did not know was that if Mari were in Crimson Mode, her version of a combat stance, his arm would have disintegrated immediately.
“Anyway, go fight it.
That’s what this testing area is for.”
“Huh! Really? Just fight it?”
“Well, other users would’ve gotten many buffs for things like physical strength, stamina, life force, agility, courage, and various others, but I don’t think you need it, Oppa.”
“Oh, so it’s like that.”
Understanding the situation, Yongno nodded.
Mari was clearly stating that other users would be buffed to the heavens and defeat the monster before them in an overwhelming fashion.
Once they did this, they would gain confidence.
Although this would probably make them overestimate their abilities against such a foe later, every user would gain 20 spiritual force points after passing this level exam, so their combat ability would increase correspondingly.
Twenty points meant ten years of internal energy.
While ten years of internal energy did not sound like much, once one became accustomed to using that additional energy, even a ten-year-old would be able to cut through solid granite with a single finger.
Elderly users would be able to go against and defeat a professional boxer in his prime.
“You won’t be needing any buffs, right?”
“Well, I guess not.”
As if it were waiting for his response, the Dire Wolf pounced forward as soon as Yongno spoke.
When he looked back, Yongno saw that Mari had disappeared.
He didn’t know if she used some sort of teleport skill or if she was just hiding somewhere, but regardless, she was gone.
Obviously, the Dire Wolf was no match for Yongno.
Yongno didn’t even have to use internal energy.
Just swinging his fists was enough to cause the Dire Wolf’s head to explode into black smoke.
His reward was the Dire Wolf’s leather.
Yongno once again returned to the testing room.
The next area he entered was called [Escort Combat].
This time, Yongno faced a growling animal.
However, unlike the large wolf that he just faced, this animal was the size of a normal dog and looked like a red fox.
“It’s a Level 1 fox.”
“It seems closer to an animal or pet than a monster.
Isn’t it a bit weak?”
“This is what the escort combat testing is like.
The monster that appears is synced to the user’s current level.
It’s already slightly cumbersome and penalizing to have to guard someone in the first place.”
Yongno looked behind him, spotting a full-grown chicken along with three small chicks.
The red fox made its move.
It didn’t seem to have any interest in fighting Yongno as it went straight for the chickens behind Yongno.
After his experience in avoiding the Blade Fish’s quick attacks, Yongno had no trouble seeing the route the fox was taking.
He didn’t even need to use his hand skills.
Yongno waited until the red fox was beside him before kicking out as if he were launching a soccer ball.
The red fox let out a sharp yelp before turning into black smoke.
Since drops didn’t occur all the time, the red fox disappeared without leaving anything behind.
Yongno once again returned to the testing room.
“I guess it doesn’t take long if you just focus on completing the set task.”
“On average, users take 30 minutes to complete the full round of tests.
Oppa is just a special case.”
There were only three doors remaining: [Rescue], [Stealth], and [Teamwork].
Yongno glanced at the state of his internal force.
He was still at his peak state.
Furthermore, hovering over his left shoulder was the Golden Core that held 45 years of internal energy.
Since he had invested an entire day into purifying and converting the internal energy to make it compatible with him, he would face no trouble in using it at any time.
With his attention now caught by the Golden Core, Yongno grabbed the internal energy storage device and imbued it with his internal energy.
As the Golden Core was already full of internal force, Yongno was essentially transferring his internal force to the spirit that resided in his Wicalein’s Ring.
“Hmm? Why are you doing that during the testing?”
“It’s already full, so it can’t be improved and is just maintaining its state.
Since the tests are relatively easy, I thought it would be good to work on developing the spirit.”
Yongno had reached the seventh level of the Golden Pill Immortal Technique.
At this level, he could replenish eight years of his internal energy per minute.
Hence, even if he used up all his internal energy, he’d be able to recover it within one to two minutes.
“Alright, let’s go.”
“Hmm, you’ve drained half of your internal force already.”
“I’ll get it all back in a minute anyway.”
Saying this, Yongno entered the door with the sign that read [Rescue].
He found himself in the middle of a wooded forest in front of a log cabin.
Feeling several auras around him, Yongno crouched down.
Luckily, he was positioned inside a fenced area, so he wasn’t noticed.
“This is an Orc village.
There are no Warrior-class Orcs here, but there are still about a hundred standard Orcs residing in this area.”
“Oho, Orcs, huh?”
Yongno had heard of Orcs, but he’d never seen one before.
He was about to stand up and have a look around, but Mari quickly grasped his shoulders and pushed him back down.
As soon as she did this, he didn’t realize it, but Yongno received a notification message that stated, ‘You have obtained the Hiding skill!’
“You must move without being noticed.
Orcs are two to three times more powerful than the average full-grown man.
Among the 100 Orcs here, 99 of them are Level 3, and one is Level 4.
This isn’t a combat test.”
“This is a [Rescue] test.
You must rescue the humans trapped within the log cabin and safely move them outside the village.
Once you do that, you pass.”
Having heard her description of the test, Yongno frowned.
“Getting inside won’t be much of an issue, but how am I expected to safely bring them out with a hundred Orcs moseying about everywhere?”
Since Yongno’s martial arts were focused on short-term attacks and bursts of high output within a limited timeframe, his combat style wasn’t conducive to any prolonged battle, especially with a mass of enemies.
Yongno didn’t like the idea of smashing 20 foes only to be countered by 80 more.
All you must do is set them free.”
Yongno had a puzzled expression at Mari’s ambiguous explanation, but he didn’t put much thought into the matter, as he felt that ‘things will work out somehow.’ As such, he soon found himself entering the log cabin.
He had materialized within the fenced area, and all the Orc guards were standing guard outside, so he didn’t face any difficulties reaching the log cabin.
“… I don’t understand.
You don’t look particularly strong, nor does it seem like you’ve been captured….
How did you get here?”
Inside the log cabin, Yongno found a man in his mid-thirties chained to the wall.
The man seemed to have been tortured extensively.
His face was bruised and swollen, and his arms were bent at abnormal angles.
Yongno thought that the captured people would be strong and healthy, as he’d only have to release the prisoners, not escort them.
Yet, the man was in a weakened state, so Yongno could not help but look at Mari with a dumbfounded expression.
Even if I free him, it doesn’t seem like he’ll be able to make it out without any help, no?”
“Who are you talking to?”
The man seemed to frown, but Yongno couldn’t tell for sure due to the swelling on his face.
Mari just shrugged her shoulders as she looked at the man’s status.
“I’ve made myself somewhat invisible.
That man can’t see or sense me, but you can since I made an exception.
Oh, and by the way….”
Mari took out a key and a small medicine bottle.
“Release him from his locks and feed him this medicine.”
“Why are you muttering to yourself?”
Despite hearing the man’s question, Yongno didn’t pay any attention or offer a reply.
Instead, he dutifully unlocked the chains and gave the man the medicine.
This wasn’t all that difficult since the man was already immobile.
“It seems like this quest will take some time to complete.”
“Wait, I only released him.
Don’t I need to make sure he escapes safely-”
Feeling a fleeting aura of overwhelming power, Yongno glanced to his side.
There, Yongno saw the man exuding a tremendous amount of spiritual force when just moments ago, he’d been largely immobile.
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