Chapter 7: Divinity (3)
Since the Great Cataclysm, appraisers who can evaluate items have become one of the most important support professions.
Although there are many appraisal skills available, if the appraiser’s skill level is lacking, they may overlook one of the item’s attributes or fail to interpret its special abilities.
In that sense, it is no exaggeration to say that Kang Sun-woo, an appraiser from the Phoenix Guild, is considered one of the best appraisers in the country.
However, it was about to be both exciting and disappointing for him to appraise the miracle rice right in front of his eyes.
‘Rice artificially grown using magic contains toxins that make it inedible for humans. Even hunters have to detoxify themselves after eating it a few times.’
Such is the order of nature.
It demanded a proper process and appropriate time.
Although things like printing food or farm factories are being developed, they cannot completely replace the existing food system.
That’s why, initially, he could only be disappointed despite being overwhelmed by the golden field.
“I will begin.”
He started the appraisal by stacking the rice. Magical power swirled in his eyes, and the elements contained within the rice were gradually revealed.
◆ Grade: Rare
This rice has been blessed by the sacred power of the goddess Demera, representing life and abundance.
It alleviates third-grade diseases and has a high chance of complete recovery with continuous consumption.
He trembled and checked the message displayed before his eyes.
After the Great Cataclysm, with the introduction of potions and elixirs, the classification of recovery items, diseases, and injuries began to be determined intuitively by grades.
If it’s a third-grade disease, it usually includes most neurological disorders and even early-stage cancers.
So, this rice can treat cancer? Each and every one of these rice grains? Are these incredible rice grains better than the expensive medicine for diseases in the Matab Tower?
“Th-the appraisal results are out!”
He wanted to introduce this astonishing miracle crop to everyone.
“The appraisal result grade is Rare!”
“Th-these rice grains, each and every one of them, are all of Rare grade!”
Everyone was astonished at Kang Sun-woo’s words. Some couldn’t understand what he was saying at all. It was because it sounded excessively unrealistic.
However, when Kang Sun-woo mentioned that this rice can also heal cancer, everything changed.
Why is this real? Hari couldn’t close her open mouth and turned her gaze towards Leon.
Leon, as if there was no need to listen, was having a conversation with the straw doll imbued with the sacred power of Demera.
“Reckless peasant! The King is facing the Goddess!”
“I-I’m s-so sorry! No, no! I have committed a sin worthy of death!”
“It’s alright. How can the children of this world know how to deal with divinity?”
It was a compassionate voice. Just like when she heard Leon’s voice from the Black Gate and felt empowered, merely hearing the voice made her heart warm. “Since Demera herself has spoken, I will forgive you this time.”
She lowered her flattened head and glanced at the two individuals. The straw doll was deflating.
“I suppose my role here is done. It is time for me to go back.”
“Thank you. We always remember and cherish the blessings bestowed upon us by the Earth Goddess.”
“Child, let this mother nag at you one last time.”
The sacred voice seemed to weaken abruptly, struggling. She, embodied in the doll, spoke to their champion one last time.
“Don’t go starving yourself anywhere, my child.”
With that, the straw doll collapsed.
Leon closed his eyes and contemplated the grace left by the Earth Mother.
After some time, Hari, who had been lying flat, cautiously raised her head.
“Y-Your Majesty? What in the world is this…?”
“Divinity… What do you mean?”
“Is there no God in this world?”
Hari didn’t know how to respond to Leon’s question.
Of course, religions exist on Earth. Jehovah, Allah, Buddha… Isn’t Buddha a god?
In any case. religions do exist.
However, it is cautious to claim that Gods exist.
Certainly, followers of religions would claim that Gods exist. But whether they can prove the existence of the divine as witnessed just now is a different matter.
The gods of Earth’s religions only claim their existence within their doctrines; they have not proven the existence of the divine through miracles like what Leon just demonstrated.
“I… don’t know.”
“This is the pantheon and divinity that comes with it. The harmony between a righteous life and the divine. Earthlings like you should follow this.”
Hari couldn’t help but wonder if that was possible.
Earth is already tightly gripped by established religions. Their exclusivity towards other religions is well known.
Even the relatively peaceful protestants trespass on other people’s temples and vandalize shrines.
But what is in front of them is reality.
It is the existence of the divine and the manifestation of miracles.
Hari developed a strange sense of trust in this anachronistic king.
Are they… really the ones who brought an extraordinary figure through the gate? Could this person truly become someone who will change the world?
“Harvest the rice! Offer gratitude to Demera and fulfill the proper role of the crops!”
Leon had the blessed rice harvested in the Honam Plains. There were 3 hours left before the Phoenix Guild’s right to capture the Honam Plain Gate expired.
* * * *
“This… this is unbelievable.”
Manager Kim Jin-su swallowed hard as he looked at the system message that appeared before his eyes.
[Blessed Cooked Rice made from Blessed Rice]
Steaming white rice with a fragrant aroma. The fact that it appeared in the awakened individuals’ system windows was strange enough, but the information updated by the appraisal expert was shocking.
– Health regeneration rate increased by 100 per minute.
– Mana regeneration rate increased by 50 per minute.
– Duration: 8 hours.
“This is insane…”
Rice with buff effects? And the effects are tremendous.
“This is almost like a long-lasting enhancement potion.”
The 3,000,000 Won reinforcement potion, which had terrible performance compared to its price, was exactly at this level.
Hari approached with a bowl of plain rice filled to the brim with grilled pork belly.
“Let’s talk after finishing this.”
Hari finally opened her mouth after swallowing hard.
“Boss, boss, this is amazing…”
“What is it?”
“This… it stacks.”
Manager Kim Jin-su and the association staff stood with their ears perked up.
“I was curious, so I ate insects from the rice fields, not just rice.”
Quick on the uptake. How did she come up with the idea of eating insects?
“After eating them… they stacked.”
Manager Kim Jin-su was bewildered but directed his gaze towards the rice paddies.
The rice fields were not just filled with rice. There were creatures like deer beetles that ate the growing rice or caught insects around them.
If this was a wide-range blessing that covers the entire land… then it wouldn’t be strange for all living beings, not just rice, to receive the blessing.
Greed flickered in the eyes of the hunters who were about to enter the gate.
They were the ones risking their lives to conquer the gate. Although government-employed hunters were provided with the minimum amount of enhancement potions, it was only the bare minimum.
For a salary worker, hundreds of thousands of Won worth of enhancement potions were truly the last bastion. But now, the streets were filled with free enhancement potions.
Eating a few insects was nothing.
“Come on, catch them! Catch at least one more!”
Hunters armed with armor and swords were scouring the rice fields with their bare hands.
“It can stack up to three times…”
Before the start of the raid, the enthusiasm of the association hunters soared as if they were about to fly.
* * * *
“Guild Master… Are you okay?”
The vice guild master asked with a cautious glance at Lee Yeong-wan as everything went awry.
Of course, he wasn’t okay.
Deliberately provoking a dungeon break was a calculated risk for the Phoenix Guild.
Although it was a guild in name, as one of the top 10 guilds, openly antagonizing them wouldn’t be possible. But compared to the other 9 guilds, there was a higher possibility of receiving preferential treatment.
Especially for high-grade gates above crimson grade, which were the most lucrative, they would likely be excluded for a while.
‘Damn it, where the hell did that b*****d come from?’
Lee Yeong-wan glared at Leon, who was meditating with his eyes closed.
It was because of him. That survivor ruined everything. If he hadn’t been there, the government, which would ‘’’ve suffered significant losses, would\ve had no choice but to eventually fulfill their demands.
It would be great if he dies inside the gate.
Suddenly, Lee Yeong-wan remembered the gate he had been struggling with for several days.
“Hehehe… This isn’t bad at all.”
“Vice Guild Master?”
“Don’t worry. We had planned to close the gate in the end by launching an attack.”
“That’s right. Although there were some… issues with our condition in the middle… Ah!”
The Vice Guild Master, who had participated in the raid on the crimson gate, read Lee Yeong-wan’s intention and had the same expression.
“There’s only one A-rank hunter among them?”
In that case, the outcome was obvious. The boss of that gate would be unbeatable for the mediocre hunters of the Hunter Association.
“But if that survivor is there…”
“Even I struggled against him. Looking at the blessing he just did, he seems to be a buffer type. He considers himself a king. I don’t think his combat abilities will be anything special.”
Either way, the conclusion was the same.
Gate raids were not done for no reason. They required a concept of the gate and appropriate preparations.
They could never defeat the boss of that gate.
Not being able to defeat the boss meant that closing the gate was also impossible.
The twisted smiles of the two led the raiding party of the Association on a path to their demise.
* * * *
Leon had a rough understanding of gate raids.
Every gate unfolded around a central mission, and by clearing that mission, the gate could be closed… in other words, eliminating the gate was possible.
“Most gates have a boss monster… no, a leader, and in many cases, defeating that leader results in the gate closing.”
“Hmm… a showdown with the leader. I like it.”
Hari didn’t say, “We usually fight them together,” she pondered how to elegantly express the act of multiple people attacking a single target.
“I heard those birds previously raided this gate, but surprisingly, there are quite a lot of monsters, aren’t there?”
Leon looked at Kim Jin-su and the association hunters fighting at the forefront and spoke.
The skeletons rushing in from the entrance of the gate are charging at the association staff armed with swords and shields.
“That’s a characteristic of this dungeon.”
“Yes… In most gates, the total number decreases as the subjugated monsters are defeated. However, in special cases like skeletons, zombies, demons, if the boss monster is still intact, they will respawn infinitely.”
“So, we have to defeat the leader to end it. Understood.”
Hari speculated that this place was a command-type gate, where a necromancer was controlling the skeletons.
Kim Jin-su, the party leader, also thought so, and based on his experience, the probability of that being the case was high.
“If the probability is high, does that mean there’s a low chance of other things appearing as well?”
“That’s correct. For example… there might be a commander with an extremely powerful will.”
At that moment, just as she was about to explain the existence of the entity called the Unsully Fairy.
An eerie wailing sound tore through their eardrums.
Kim Jin-su and Han Hari’s faces turned pale. The other association hunters were in the same state.
“Y-Yeong-wan, that b*****d! Why didn’t he mention that!”
[The Dungeon Break begins.]
-Death sentence declared. Countdown for all lifeforms within the gate has started.
-Commander Knight Dullahan leads the command army and advances.
-Defeat Commander Knight Dullahan. Remaining time: 3 hours 00 minutes.
At the very beginning of the dungeon, the entire force started advancing towards the raiding party.