Chapter 10: System (7)
Jiho’s eyes weren’t open.
His eyelids were heavy, and he didn’t have the strength to lift them either.
Despite that, he had definitely seen a sentence appear under his closed eyelids.
Even if he had seen something, he wasn’t in the condition to pay close attention to it.
Still, it was as if the sentence was burned into his mind.
Jiho fell into confusion because of this strange phenomenon.
‘A hallucination? Is this the monster’s trick?’
The next moment, his darkening vision started to turn white.
In his consciousness, he could see a four-sided “window” appear clearly.
The window in front of his eyes was similar to the system windows that were commonly seen on computers.
When Jiho saw the window, he thought of something that people had talked about right after the emergence of the gates and monsters.
In fantasy novels of gates and dungeons that were published before the gates broke out, awakened ones were usually accompanied by a system that appeared through windows like this.
If a system really existed as it did in the novels, a lot of things would have been much easier.
However, in this world, there is no system like that.
It’s not that a system doesn’t exist at all.
But the number of times a system window appeared was very few.
The only time everyone was able to check that a system existed was when the first gate had opened.
|A fissure has appeared on Earth.
From now on, invasions from other worlds will begin through the fissures.
People of the world, please block the invasions and protect the earth.
That was the first and last time everyone saw the existence of a system.
Although some people say that they can vaguely feel a system, the system windows that they see are very blurry, and they can only read bits and pieces from it.
However, the system window in front of Shin Jiho was very clear and real.
A translucent, gray square window.
At the very top, there is a thin bar with [System Information] to the left and icons to close or minimize to the right.
And below that, there were three menus.
Of those, two menus were locked and the only one open was [Personal].
Jiho doesn’t know what that means.
As he moved his gaze to the open [Personal], a new window opened.
|XX’s First X?
World’s First Awakened One
XXX X’s Savior
The Pampered Youngest
No Name’s Guildmaster
|[ON] Stabilize ( EX )
Body Toughening ( C )
Magic Resistance ( D )
XXXXX XX ( EX )
|Stats will fluctuate depending on the skill used.
Jiho didn’t understand any of the information that was entering his eyes.
After all, he didn’t understand this situation itself in the first place either.
Out of all of the confusing words in the list, the one that caught his eye the most was….
Unlike [Body Strengthening]—what seemed to be the skill he used all the time—Jiho had no idea what [Stabilize] was.
As Jiho’s curiosity about [Stabilize] rose, the information about it popped up like a tool tip.
|XXX XXXX XXX XXXXX X.
Every minute of use, XXXX MP is used up.
|ON (Has not met the requirements to have it on all the time.
While this skill is in use, special skills cannot be activated.
Skills that are currently limited: 7)
‘What is this….’
What do you mean? This is all my power.
Amazing, right? ( ⁎ ᵕᴗᵕ ⁎ )1
A dialogue box with a short message opened over Jiho’s system window.
Jiho was shocked.
What are you so surprised about? ヽ(‘ ∇‘ )ノ
‘What are you?’
What do you mean by that? We were always together… You’re making me sad.
‘What are you…talking about?’
Never in Jiho’s 24 years of life had he ever been close to someone who used weird emoticons like this.
Plus, Jiho felt very disturbed that it was seemingly reading his mind right now.
The system trembled after realizing Jiho’s astringent attitude towards it.
Ah, there’s no time to be like this.
The person you came with is dying right now.
So this really wasn’t the last illusion that he sees before he dies?
Jiho firmly grabbed hold of his spinning mind.
As he did so, he heard a small giggle by his ear.
You want to escape the dungeon safely, right? Then turn off [Stabilize].
‘Turn it off?’
[Stabilize] is important for XX, but it’s too much for you right now.
( ᴗ_ᴗ̩̩ ) You’re too weak.
Even if you’re weak, you’re too weak.
This word was like broken pixels.
Jiho couldn’t see it at all.
The dialogue boxes that had been popping up continuously, paused.
It seemed like it was asking him to understand that it couldn’t reveal it for reasons it couldn’t say.
‘What are you trying to justify by yourself? This might be a hallucination.
Am I crazy…?’
You’re not crazy.
That’s not the important thing right now.
Turn off [Stabilize] first.
If you think about turning it off, it’ll turn off.
Once you turn it off, you can become much stronger than now.
Of course, the XX might be put in slight danger, but if you look long-term, this will probably be for the better.
If you stay like this, you won’t be anything.
After the long message, the dialogue boxes stopped.
‘What does that mean? Explain it a little more.’
Despite how Jiho called for the mysterious other, there was no further reaction from it.
Jiho was still collapsed, still stuck in his consciousness.
‘If I stay like this, I won’t be anything…’
Although the words made him a little mad, they were right.
After all, just a little while ago, he had felt his limits in the dungeon before giving up.
But will it really be alright to turn off the [Stabilize] skill?
Though he doesn’t know what it is, something will become unstable if it is turned off.
No matter which way you view it from, it eaving the skill on is a good idea.
What is this skill stabilizing in the first place?
His thoughts were trailing off.4 It’s hard to make a decision immediately.
In truth, he was afraid.
He was afraid that if he were to turn this off, he would fall into a coma again like he did three years ago.
That he would collapse under the pain and become even more of a nothing than he is now.
There is no evidence to back up what the dialogue box was saying.
If he turns this off, Shin Jiho may become even more of a nothing than now.
‘However… if I don’t try anything here, I’ll die.’
The only reason he is still conscious right now is probably because of this weird state that the system created.
If he stays like this, moving his body that was currently like a marionette with cut strings was impossible.
The only thing Jiho can do is to try turning [Stabilize] off.
There’s no time to choose.
‘Well, would it be any worse than dying?’
Shin Jiho brushed off his hesitance and turned off [Stabilize].
Seon Tae Woong roughly wiped off the wetness on his face.
He didn’t know if it was tears or sweat.
However, there was no way to wipe off everything that was raining down.
His body was completely soaked, and it looked like he had just fallen into a body of water.
His throat is filled with the taste of something burnt, and he feels like he will throw up blood soon.
If he gets out of here alive, he’ll have to fix his teeth that had chipped from how much he was gnashing them.
Of course, there was a 90% chance of him becoming a dead body with missing teeth.
Shin Jiho, who had dragged him up to here in exchange for his own body, had already fallen.
The chance of him still breathing was low.
Even if he was alive, it was only a matter of time.
Not Shin Jiho, but he himself was so pathetic that he couldn’t stand it.
Of course, there aren’t many people who can defeat a mental-invasion monster that is at least S-rank.
But he should’ve considered all possibilities when he first entered.
Just because all the other monsters outside had launched physical attacks, he assumed that the boss monster would launch physical attacks as well.
On top of that, he didn’t tell Shin Jiho everything in his plan.
Because he looked down on him.
However, the person who broke out of the boss monster’s attack was Shin Jiho.
Even though Jiho had no experience, he was able to respond and wake Tae Woong up quickly.
If Shin Jiho wasn’t there, Seon Tae Woong would have already been a dead man.
If Seon Tae Woong had told Jiho what he had learned from raiding S-rank dungeons beforehand, Jiho might have been able to respond more safely.
If only he had not looked down on Shin Jiho and treated him so poorly.
It was too late for regrets.
Tae Woong’s tired hands were gradually losing strength.
‘I’m so tired I want to die.
Should I just give up now?’
If he lets go right now, the boss monster’s blow would cut him in two.
Dying is scary.
But there’s no other way.
If there’s one thing good about this, it’s that he’ll probably die painlessly with one blow.
If the two of them had fought it together, it would’ve been a close fight.
Tae Woong cannot fight it on his own.
On top of that, if Seon Tae Woong falls under the mental attack again, he will completely fall.
Just when the exhausted Tae Woong was about to give up.
“Seon Tae Woong!”
He heard the voice of Shin Jiho, who he thought was dead.
“You, Shin Jiho!”
So surprised, Tae Woong forgot that he was supposed to be concentrating and turned around to look at Jiho.
Jiho had definitely thrown blood up and collapsed.
That Jiho was standing on his two feet.
Although his injuries weren’t healed and all he was doing was standing, that in itself was a miracle.
Tae Woong looked Jiho with a dumbfounded look.
He only turned back to the monster when Jiho used his finger to ask if he was crazy5 .
The face that used to make him angry with one glance, felt familiar now.
The corner of Seon Tae Woong’s lips rose before falling back down again.
There’s no good that comes out of rejoicing.
It would have been better for Jiho to have died peacefully like that.
Tae Woong’s mana is already at rock-bottom.
Even if Tae Woong tries to hold on, he will only be able to do so for one more minute.
Jiho, sensing his depressing thoughts, shouted.
“Don’t give up!”
“Don’t say such bullsh*t so eas….”
Just when Tae Woong was going to tell Jiho not to say such bullsh*t so easily, Seon Tae Woong closed his mouth.
A weird feeling overtook him.
The feeling was very strange.
He felt a strong gust of wind rush towards him.
However, instead of knocking him over, the strong wind gently wrapped itself around Seon Tae Woong’s body.
A large amount of mana had flown into Seon Tae Woong like a gust of wind.
Seon Tae Woong’s body, which had used up almost all of its mana, was full of mana again.
After filling it up, the mana began to overflow.
Instead of disappearing, however, that extra mana continued to settle inside Seon Tae Woong.
“What, what is this?”
Seon Tae Woong was lifted up to a height he had never been before by the mana that was filling him up.
His heavy body, which had been weighed down by all of the pain, felt much lighter.
Seon Tae Woong’s skill soon responded to the stronger mana.
The flame that had almost been completely extinguished by the monster’s strength flared up to a size almost two times taller than it had before.
As the temperature rose, the originally red flames slowly started to burn yellow.
“What, what is this….”
“I’ll explain later, so attack now!”
Tae Woong, who was dazed from the shock, woke up at Jiho’s shout.
As he put more of the overflowing mana into his skill, the flames soared up more fiercely.
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