Of course, there wasnt a flash sound, or any sound for that matter, when Yongno suddenly awakened. He quickly took off his earphones and got up on his feet.
“Okay, a ten-minute login restriction. Damn, Im going to cut it close!”
As if he had grown a pair of wings, Yongno practically flew over to his kitchen to boil some water. He didnt feel like cooking anything fancy, so he decided on ramen.
After putting a pot of water on the gas range, Yongno rushed to the bathroom to relieve himself, which was the most urgent matter to attend to.. He then moved on to washing his face and hair.
“Ah. I need to make some time to get a haircut…”
While he washed his face, Yongno thought to himselfIll do it when the closed-beta period is over. After he finished washing, he stepped back into the kitchen. The water was already boiling.
“It seems like a waste of time to put extra toppings into the ramen, but I havent really eaten anything lately, so…!”
After putting the ramen noodles and soup base into the pot, Yongno emptied half of a new can of tuna into the pot. He opened his rice cooker, where there was exactly one serving of rice remaining.
He scooped out the remaining rice and then hurriedly cleaned the rice pot. He then placed some fresh rice into it, washed the rice, placed the pot back into the rice cooker, and then reset the rice cooker back toon. The convenient thing about having a rice cooker was that one could just set it and forget it. The rice cooker would automatically cook the rice and keep it warm.
After chowing down on the ramen, Yongno placed the single serving of rice into the remaining soup base. Since he was in a rush, bits and pieces of soup and rice fell onto his dining table.
“Argh! All my kitchen towels are in the hamper. Ill have to use a bathroom towel for now…”
Yongno walked to the bathroom and looked around, perplexed. He had run out of clean towels. It should not have been surprising that he didnt have any clean towels left, as he hadnt done his laundry in ages. Nevertheless, Yongno couldnt help but feel perplexed.
“Huh? Wait, what did I just clean my face and hair with? That towel should be hanging…”
Instinctively, Yongno brought his hand up to his hair. Though he had washed his hair just two or three minutes ago, his hair had already completely dried. He could smell the shampoo in his hair, so he was certain that his memory of washing his hair wasnt false.
Yongno was thoroughly confused. However, time was ticking.
“Ill think about it later!”
He took a dirty towel out of the hamper, cleaned off his dining table, and finished his meal. He then threw his laundry into the washer and pressed start.
“I have two minutes left!”
Yongno quickly did the dishes. If an outside observer saw his dishwashing movements, their mouths would have fallen on the floor. Yongno moved fast, but was still incredibly precise as he cleaned each dish. One would probably be unable to copy his movements, even if they practiced for years. His dishwashing skill was awe-inspiring, like something out of a circus performance.
Yongno even managed to brush his teeth. He only had thirty seconds left to do it, but Yongno felt it was at least better than nothing.
“Okay, thats ten minutes! Times up!”
Yongno quickly changed his clothes before running towards his computer. He hurriedly pressed the login button, put on his earphones, and laid back on his bed.
In the beginning, I was sad.
I had no expectations for myself.
But then, I expected. I yearned and wished.
I wanted to create a new world.
The voice Yongno heard was always the same. People on the internet and many experts claimed that this voice lulled people into a trance state before playing a game; but Yongno didnt feel affected by the voice at all.
“Its really interesting.”
The system monitored if a user was listening to the voice. If the user zoned out or didnt pay attention to the voice and failed to hear its message, the system wouldnt allow the user to log in. Only when the user actively listened to the voice and its message would the system allow the user to access DIO. Merlin had tested this out several times. The voice coming into his earphones was a pleasant male voice, but…
You will be freed.
Once the voice stopped speaking, Yongnos consciousness immediately settled down into a deep, peaceful state.
The suns rays shone down on an unbelievably cold and windy sea. On the surface of such a sea was a magic circle, two and a half meters wide. The magic circle casted a shimmering light and began spinning. It soon turned into a sphere before spitting out a user into the sea and disappearing.
The user landed, with a sound like a stone being dropped into a lake.
“Phew. Fortunately, no one came. The drop items shouldnt have disappeared, right?”
Normally, monster drop items belonged to the user that defeated it, or the first user to inflict the monster with critical damage. Thisownership over the drops lasted for thirty minutes. If the user did not gather the drops within this time frame, they became available for anyone to pick up. This availability lasted for an additional thirty minutes, meaning a drop was available for a total of one hour.
However, the value of the drop also influenced how long a drop would remain available for pick-up. Usually, only the lowly rated items would disappear after an hour. Most other items remained available much longer than that. Highly rated items could sometimes be available for up to a week.
It didnt take too long for Merlin to reach the Dead Mans Ship. His body condition had already stabilized. This was one of the benefits of logging out; ones body would recuperate during the time they were logged out. This was the same mechanic behind the whole twenty-four hour restriction period (4 hours in real-time) a user faced when they died. When the user logged back in, they would find their body resurrected and in prime condition. In Merlins case, he hadnt even sustained any major injury. He had only been in an extreme fatigue state, so ten minutes in real-time, or an hour in-game, had been enough time for his body to recuperate.
“Wow! I was the one that did this, but even I feel surprised.”
The chill lingered in the area. It still carried a substantial killing intent and deadly properties. Now, only a being who could control an extremely large amount of magic power would be able to enter the area. Of course, since the spell was cast using his own magic power, Merlin wasnt affected too much by the chill and its properties. Moreover, his water attribute affinity protected him not only from the ice but also the chill that arose from it.
“Ah, of course. None of the monsters that the Kraken killed dropped any items.”
There was no way those drops would appear. Although users were the primary monster killers, there was still a significant number of fights that broke out between the monsters themselves. In a normal field, monsters followed a food chain, killing each other off to survive. If drops appeared after every one of those killings, one would see drops appear wherever they went.
“Huh, this guy is…”
Walking barefooted on an iceberg that had formed, Merlin came across a Death Knight that was frozen inside a cylindrical block of ice. Merlin recognized this character. It was the Death Knight that had rode Phantom Steed up the Krakens tentacle to stab its eye.
“I feel a little bad. If we had fought one-on-one, this guy probably would have beaten me.”
Merlin had to keep his guard up. The Death Knight was here without his drop, which meant that he was still alive, albeit frozen inside a block of ice.
“Of course, Ill be winning this round.”
Merlin struck the block of ice. The Death Knight soon turned into black smoke before scattering in the wind. If more time had passed, the Death Knight might have been able to regain his consciousness and put up a fight, but he had already sustained considerable damage from his battle with the Kraken, and from MerlinsHowling spell. Even if the Death Knight had been able to muster up the strength to fight, he would have been at a terrible disadvantage. Either way, he would have eventually succumbed to death and turned into smoke. In the place of his body, there was a drop item.
Once the Death Knight disappeared, a helmet made of some dark material had popped out from the block of ice. Merlin felt a little sad that no other items had dropped, but the mysterious dark helmet made of an unknown material exuded a strong aura on its own.
“Oh, it looks pretty good.”
After inspecting the helmet further, Merlin let out an impressed whistle. It wasnt just good; the item was an extremely valuable high-level item. The only issue was that it would take a considerable amount of time to find the rest of the items to complete the set.
“Wow, there were so many monsters here. The Kraken killed so many, but the number of drops is still crazy.”
Scattered across the sea, Merlin could see many spherical barriers, which were in place to protect the drop items against the chill. Merlin proceeded to collect the drop items and money. Overall, his harvest wasnt too bad. The items ranged from insignificant 8th tier items to valuable 3rd tier items. Among them, one drop item specifically caught Merlins eye: a black shiny stone.
“Huh? Isnt this magic power the same kind those ghosts possessed?”
They were stones that the Specters dropped. Of course, the drop probability of such a stone stood at only 10%. Moreover, the Kraken had killed off many of the Specters, so there werent many left over. Still, Merlin was able to find a little over ten of these black shiny stones.
“They dont seem all that special, but these stones are 3rd tier items. They must be some sort of material for something… hmm?”
Suddenly, Merlin felt a chill run down the back of his neck. It was a type of instinct, warning him of nearby danger. Operating almost entirely on this instinct, Merlin quickly raised his hand and swung a punch in the air.
Merlin had impressive instincts, but he was lucky to survive such a speedy surprise attack. The dark magic had flown towards his backside with lightning speed. Since Merlin had set his spirits to react when confronted with a high-speed object coming toward him, the DIO system seemed to have lagged to allow his spirits to move. Merlin had utilized this brief moment to activate Great Strength Vajra Hand, and deflect the oncoming dark magic attack.
Heinkel couldnt help but be surprised at Merlins reaction speed. Even if Merlin knew the attack was coming and had prepared beforehand, or even if he had trained to counter that exact scenario hundreds, even thousands of times, he wouldnt have been able to perfectly counter the attack as he had just done now. This was proof that Merlins senses were highly developed. At least, this was what Heinkel was thinking.
“Damn! You surprised me.” Merlin exclaimed.
Merlin circulated his internal energy and magic power. His right hand began to glow blue, and his left hand began glowing gold.
“Your magic power is pitiful. How were you able to accomplish such a ruthless ice and chill spell?”
Heinkel couldnt make sense of how Merlin was able to cast such a devastating spell. The magic power of that spell was the same as the magic Merlin was channeling right now, so Heinkel could tell that Merlin had been the one who cast it. However, the difference in the amount of magic power was too great. None of it made sense to Heinkel. Heinkel could clearly tell, without a doubt, that Merlins current level of magic power was only mid-level at best. Mages could use spells that were above their current magic power level, but only to a certain extent. The difference Heinkel saw went far, far beyond that limit.
“Youre speaking to me, yet chanting a spell. Im sure youre doing it subconsciously, but Im not foolish enough to fall for that!”
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