been featured in the TV commercials during program breaks, where Ji-Cheok remembered him slurping up spicy fire noodles.

“Real men only eat spicy fire noodles!” was this Hunter’s catchphrase.

In order to cover his elemental weaknesses, this Hunter would travel with another Awakened that possessed water abilities.
In the end, however, humans were humans, and it was a mistake to think that people wouldn’t look out for their own interests during a crisis.
Would someone truly be willing to risk their lives and leave their family to save someone else over pennies? This was also a lesson that Ji-Cheok had learned when he was a Hunter Assistant.

‘Do I have to choose just one type of skill? No, why can’t I get all types?’

In order to cut something, one did not require a sharp Myeongdo[3].
In fact, a knife the size of one’s palm could be used for many more practical applications, while a treasure sword could only be used in one way.
Many people were trying to acquire a Myeongdo — that is, to be at the peak of one single profession — but for Ji-Cheok, there was no need to follow that trend.

‘I better start dividing my points and choose everything that I can use now.
The media hyped me up as some sort of well-rounded talent, right?’

This was a decision that would impact his whole career as a Hunter.
However, Ji-Cheok immediately figured out the kind of skill he needed to buy next.

“Alright, the first thing is to get a Mana Recovery skill.
Search for a Mana Recovery skill! Something that can be learned immediately.”


[200 search results.]

The search results came up on the screen, and Ji-Cheok noticed how much fewer Mana Recovery skills there were than he had thought.
Two hundred types were still plenty, but it was worth checking them one by one.

In the end, only two skills really stood out to Ji-Cheok.

[Mana Heart of the Ark Dragon — 50,000 Likes.

[Class: Unique (Upgradable, Rank F)

Dragons are a magical tribe, and their hearts are able to gather mana.
Based on the special characteristics of the dragon heart, a mana-gathering skill has been developed for human use.

Caution: Skill unavailable if user has mastered any other mana skill.
Skill unavailable if user is above level 2.
Skill unavailable if user has trained any part of their body.

Mana Recovery +100%.

Upon learning the skill, an additional Ring of Mana (1 circle/passive) skill will be acquired.

As user becomes more familiar with the skill, the ability to recover will correspondingly improve.

Requirement: Level 1

*The System shall not be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever incurred by the User because of improper use and/or ignoring the warning label.]

These detailed conditions were brutal.
Simply put, this Mana Recovery skill needed to be acquired before any other skill that modified a part of the body, and also before Ji-Cheok reached level 2.
This was because the skill would make adjustments to the heart and body, and if any pre-existing modifications to the body due to another skill were to be interrupted by the Mana Heart, then it could be extremely dangerous for the user.
It was similar to installing an operating system on a PC: if the computer already had an OS, installing a second one from a different developer would very likely cause errors and result in a Blue Screen of Death.
Of course, unlike in the case of computers, which could be easily restored from a backup, errors within the human body were fairly expensive problems to fix.

That said, Ji-Cheok still wanted this skill.
Not only did he fulfill the conditions, but the skill was also upgradeable, which meant that the more he used it, the more powerful it would become.
Even better, the System also mentioned something about a complementary skill, the Ring of Mana.

Ji-Cheok looked up the Ring of Mana.

[Mana Ring of the Ark Dragon — Not for sale

[Class: Unique (Upgradable, Rank F)

When using the Mana Heart of the Ark Dragon, the mana flow inside the body will form a ring-shaped cycle.
As skill proficiency increases, max Mana capacity and spell casting speed will also increase.

Can only be acquired when the user is able to feel mana coursing through their body.]

These were skills that Ji-Cheok thought fit him well, but then he noticed another skill that caught his eye.

[Arcane Circle of Mana Recovery — 10,000 Likes.

[Class: Rare (Non-Upgradable, Rank C)

User can draw a magic circle that increases mana recovery.
Anyone within the circle perimeter will partake of the blessing.

Mana recovery +200% ]

Setting up this magical circle was probably complicated; as for how he was supposed to design it… that was probably something Ji-Cheok had to figure out by himself.
That said, a 200% increase in mana recovery was not something he could ignore.

“Purchase both skills,” Ji-Cheok commanded.

[You have used 60,000 Likes to purchase the Mana Heart of the Ark Dragon and the Arcane Circle of Mana Recovery.]

‘Wow, I just spent a lot of money.’

It was completely worth it for Ji-Cheok, as these two skills combined allowed for a whopping 300% improvement in mana recovery..

‘I guess I have 45,000 Likes left, then?’

Now, it was time to focus on improving his combat skills.
One may imagine combat skills to be smashing the skulls of monsters like shattering flower vases, which may be equivalent to cooking a piece of raw steak without anything else.
However, steaks still had to go through the entire process of getting prepared, cut into bite size pieces, and letting it marinate.
It was the same for combat.

Attack, defense, CCs[4] healing, buffs, movement, and passive skills — these formed the complete set of aspects Ji-Cheok needed to cover.

‘If Mu-Cheok saw what I was doing, he’d probably blow a gasket and question why I needed all seven of them.’

Well, in the end, it was all about survival.
Ji-Cheok was making an informed decision based on experience and reasoning, rather than just getting whatever skills he thought were cool.
If anything, it would have been weird for him to follow the trends when he had better options.

As for the auxiliary part, he already had an appraisal skill, so the only other thing he needed was a craftsmanship skill.

‘Which skill should I get for craftsmanship?’

Ji-Cheok looked at the list one by one.

[The Iron Dwarf’s Blacksmithing Skill]

This skill appeared to be based on the blacksmithing arts of the Iron Dwarf tribe, and the price seemed decent.
Unfortunately, it required materials which were impossible to find on Earth and had to be retrieved from dungeons, such as monster body parts and dungeon minerals.

‘It’s probably more cost-efficient to buy ready-made items than to get this skill.’

[The Moonlight Elf ’s Blacksmithing Skill]

Beyond the material requirements, the basic skill requirement was spiritual magic.

‘Yeah, no.
That’s a pie in the sky.

visual representation of the possible upgrade paths for players

The term ’sangsong’ literally means ‘compatibility’, both in a positive sense (as partners) and in a negative sense (as natural enemies).
In this particular case, it means that a monster with a certain ability will always win against a Hunter with the same ability, as the monster’s ability ‘suppresses’ the Hunter’s.

The terms ‘myeongdo’ (‘famous sword’) and ‘bogum’ (‘treasure sword’) refer to swords that are renowned due to superior craftsmanship and/or the identity of the owner(s).

Crowd Control, skills that allow a player to fight multiple other players or mobs.
They work either by inhibiting the opponents’ movement and/or skill use, or by forcing them to take certain actions.

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