Episode 3 – Contract (3)
Looking at the situation, I got a sense of what happened.
“What is it? Is something wrong?”
[This isn’t possible. How can there be a firewall preventing the system interference...?]
It seemed Fourth Wall blocked not just the skills of an incarnation but the dokkaebi’s interference as well. If this was true, it meant nobody in Ways of Destruction could see my attributes window, including myself.
How interesting. It was the perfect condition to become a scammer.
“Forget about it.”
[P-Please wait! I can do it. U-Uh. What if I do this?]
“You can’t do it.”
Bihyung screamed like he had received an electric shock. The white fluffy hair on his skin was burnt black.
“It’s okay. If you can’t do it then stop. I will ask for another favour.”
[This can’t be! I am Dokkaebi Bihyung. If I can’t solve this situation, the honor of the dokkaebi―]
I looked at the clock. It had been an hour since the ichthyosaur ate. There was no time to delay like this.
“The dokkaebi bag.”
Bihyung stopped his useless action of digging at the air.
“Open the dokkaebi bag.”
[...How do you know about that?]
“Are you going to open it?”
[Only an incarnation with a sponsor can use the dokkaebi bag...]
“It is true that all incarnations that use the dokkaebi bag have a sponsor. But there is no rule that an incarnation without a sponsor can’t use the dokkaebi bag.”
[...Wait a minute.]
Bihyung pulled out a manual and confirmed it.
[At this point, I don’t know if I am a dokkaebi or you are. Are you actually a dokkaebi?]
The smiling Bihyung raised both hands.
[...Okay, there is no problem if you use it. However, the dokkaebi bag can only be used when the channel is open for streaming purposes. Is that okay?]
[#BI-7623 channel is open.]
[The constellations have entered.]
Then an electric current appeared in the air. A transparent screen emerged in front of me.
[Welcome to the coin shop, the ‘Dokkaebi Bag.’]
The Dokkaebi Bag.
It was the moment when this damn world’s ‘cash store’ was opened.
* * *
There were two ways to use coins in Ways of Survival.
One of them was to raise the level of the stats such as stamina and strength. The other was to use it as a common form of currency that could be used in various stores, including the dokkaebi bag.
[Buy it now! A starter pack for your incarnation for 2,500 coins!]
[A today only special! A 300% growth package, grow faster than others!]
[Did you accidentally pick an incarnation with a bad attribute? Don’t worry! The ‘Random Attribute Box’ that can randomly change the attribute has been released!]
There were numerous coin items, including various packages. All of the advertisements in the Dokkaebi Bag were aimed at the constellations raising incarnations. It was natural. The original customers of the Dokkaebi Bag were constellations.
I got rid of the pop-up advertising windows one by one.
It was nothing compared to the ‘disasters’ that emerged after the fifth main scenario, but a sea commander ichthyosaur was no different from a disaster for the early stage incarnations.
I needed some items sold in the Dokkaebi Bag to defeat the ichthyosaur. Let’s see...
I looked at the catalog before glancing over at Bihyung.
“Hey, are these the only items I can buy right now? Is there a search function?”
[At that...shit. Wait. Constellations. Please. Please calm down.]
From the moment the channel opened, Bihyung was repeating complains with a comic-like sweat.
[It was just a server error that shut the broadcast off for a while! I didn’t turn it off on purpose.]
There was a total of 20 stars above Bihyung’s head. Since not too many of them had left the channel, it seems that quite a few constellations wanted to see what happened to me. Of course, not all the constellations were friendly.
[A few constellations are questioning the fairness of the broadcast!]
[A few constellations are suspicious of the privileges you have received!]
It wasn’t unexpected. While the broadcast was off, a hidden scenario started and the Dokkaebi Bag was opened. It was no wonder that the constellations were surprised.
[No, preferences? Look at this, Constellations. I am a dokkaebi. Don’t you know that I will be extinguished if I do that? Don’t you know that the storyteller vow is never light?]
“Will you help me?”
[...There is a product search button in the lower right corner.
I ignored Bihyung and pressed the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of the package window.
[The product search function is activated.]
[The produce search is limited to 5 times a day. Any additional searches will cost 100 coins per search.]
In any case, humans and dokkaebi were the same. The total number of free searches given was five. Two searches were enough to buy the materials I needed so I had three searches left.
[The constellation Secretive Plotter is wondering about your plan.]
Yes, be curious. If you are curious, keep watching.
[The constellation ‘Abyssal Black Flame Dragon’ is looking angrily at your actions.]
Don’t watch if you are going to get all twisted up.
I opened my mouth to use the search function.
“Search for the ‘Ancient Dragon’ item.”
[There are three search results.]
A small pop-up window soon emerged.
* Ancient Dragon’s Heart – Stock
* Ancient Dragon’s Bone – Stock: 1
* Ancient Dragon’s Horn – Stock: 1
I chose the Ancient Dragon’s Heart.
Name: Ancient Dragon’s Heart
Description: A heart containing the magic power of the ancient dragon ‘Ignitus.’ It possesses near-infinite magic power and the attribute ‘Hellfire’ will be acquired if a heart transplant is successful.
Price: 1,500,000 C
Stock: Just sold out.
As expected, it was out of stock. From beyond the catalog, Bihyung, who was dealing with the constellations, looked at me with his jaw dropped.
[Crazy. How do you know the information about the ancient dragon?]
“I just called out a nice name.”
[...It seems like a lie.]
In the original Ways of Survival, the owner of the Ancient Dragon’s Heart was already determined. If I remember correctly, the owner of the heart was currently in Italy.
A person with good luck. They got such a diamond sponsor. I called out several more product names.
[The related product search is completed.]
* Great Demon’s Eyes – Stock: 0
* White Pure Star Energy – Stock: 1
The Great Demon’s Eyes was sold out... the hands of the constellations were really quick. Well, I couldn’t buy it since the selling price was 1 million coins.
At any rate, it was good to have a sponsor. Now the incarnation with the Great Demon’s Eyes would grow and destroy the beginner scenarios.
[What are you really? What type of cheat are you using? How do you know about items that can only be found in the search?]
“I just said plausible names.”
Among the three items that I searched for, only the White Pure Star Energy was in stock. Furthermore, the price was 10,000 coins so I couldn’t buy it now. I put it in the shopping cart for now.
[What, are you buying it?]
“Not right now. I am just window shopping.”
[Sheesh, what a waste of time.]
“I am going to buy something else so bring up the items I call out from now on.”
I called out several item names. After a moment, a list of items emerged in front of me.
* Mucus of the Hammer Sea Horse – Stock: 124
* Stone Hog’s Pointed Thorn – Stock: 17
I compared it to the list in my memories. The food of the ichthyosaur, the hammer sea horse and the stone hog, the nemesis of sea species... There was no doubt. This combination was the best when it came to attacking an ichthyosaur.
“Four mucus, four thorns. It is 800 coins?”
[Yes but...where are you going to use these miscellaneous items?]
“You don’t need to know.”
[...I don’t want to be nosy but why don’t you buy something else? For example, this Woryeong Sword Technique. It is originally 8,000 coins but I will now sell it for 4,000 coins. Wouldn’t buying this be more helpful to clear the scenario?]
“Thank you but I will just buy this.”
Bihyung wasn’t satisfied but received the payment.
[800 coins have been consumed.]
In the darkness, a sparkling powder gathered and four elongated thorns and four pockets of black mucus appeared.
[I can’t give a refund if you regret it now. Do you understand?]
I briefly nodded and started working. I took off my top, tied it around my waist and stuck the thorns in the gap, while the pockets were hung from my waist.
The stone hog’s thorn was stumpy but became sharp at the end. It was approximately one metre in length. It was a reasonable size to pierce something.
[Hrmm...then I’ll be going. I can’t stay with you. There is something fun going on in another place.]
[Huhu, then hang in there. I hope the story will bless you.]
Bihyung disappeared in a flash of light and the surroundings became dark again. I could use the light on my smartphone but I wanted to save the battery as much as possible.
In the darkness, the stone hog thorn was emitting a bluish light. It was a feeble light but for the moment, it would be sufficient.
I pulled out a thorn and swung it. Maybe it was because I didn’t have a skill such as Weapons Training or Incarnation of All Soldiers. I couldn’t get used to holding the thorn.
[A few constellations are bored.]
The impatient constellations left the channel. I couldn’t see it but Bihyung was probably fretting right now.
Then an hour passed.
Right, left, up and down.
I didn’t like it but I no longer had a problem handling the thorn. The surface finish was rough and didn’t seem like it would slip easily from the hand.
It was time to begin. I used the proper force and stabbed at the ichthyosaur wall above me.
It was like poking a rubber elastic wall as the thorn bounced off. My current strength wasn’t high enough to tear at the stomach of the ichthyosaur. It would probably be the same if I used a skill.
Ku ku ku ku!
At that moment, the small holes at the top of the stomach wall opened simultaneously. Then an absolutely disgusting liquid poured out.
One of the demonic people floating on something in the stomach started shrieking.
Chuchuchu. The skin of the demonic person started burning. The digestion of the ichthyosaur had begun. The ichthyosaur’s digestive juices quickly mixed in the river water and started to melt away at the concrete and other floating products.
Chu chu chu chu!
There was no time. It was going as planned.
I jumped from the floating object and gripped a bump on the wall of the stomach. Then I started climbing up the wall like I was rock climbing.
Gurgle gurgle gurgle.
The outlet of the digestive juices was right above. I put the thorn in my mouth and grabbed a pocket of mucus.
The mucus of the hammer sea horse. I poured the mysterious dark blue liquid onto my hand and applied the mucus carefully from the tip to the end of the thorn.
It was with precision and care, as if applying shaving cream to an area to be shaved. If the shaving cream protected the skin from the razor, the mucus protected the thorn from the digestive juices.
Go. I swung the thorn towards where the digestive juices were coming from. The angle was correct and I used my maximum strength.
The digestive juices flowed down the thorn and dissolved the skin on my forearm. I experienced a terrible pain but didn’t stop. If I made a mistake here then everything was over.
[The exclusive skill ‘Fourth Wall’ has relieved some of the pain.]
Before long, the thorn jammed up the emission point.
After a deep sigh, I pulled out another thorn from my waist. I applied the mucus of the hammer sea horse, found another opening and blocked it.
[A few constellations admire your calmness.]
[The constellations have sponsored you 200 coins.]
I used this method to block three opening points. There were some left, but the small openings didn’t release large amounts of digestive fluids.
There was one thorn left in the top tightly tied around me. All that was left was one thorn and two pockets of mucus.
I used the remaining mucus on my skin and clothes, then poured what was remaining down my throat.
The fishy taste on my tongue was sickening but it was better than dying. The bitterness was nothing compared to the disaster that would occur from now on.
It was around five minutes afterwards that the entire stomach started trembling.
...It had started.
The ichthyosaur let out a painful scream. The blood vessels on the wall of the stomach were squirming. The thorns were visibly expanding into the blood vessels.
The thorns in the openings had started their aggressive growth activity. The stone hog’s thorn grew in response to the body fluids of seawater species.
The thorn that became immune to the digestive juices due to the applied mucus absorbed the surrounding fluids and started to take root in the body of the ichthyosaur.
The stone hog’s thorns wouldn’t stop expanding until the ichthyosaur was completely dead.
As I watched the liquid swirling under my feet, I grabbed the thorn tightly. I did everything I could. From now on, it was a mental fight.
Either I died or this guy would die. Only one of us would survive.
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