Never Die Extra - Chapter 98
Chapter 98 – Evan D. Sherden, Improving (2)
Evan D. Sherden, Improving (2)
Evan finally arrived at the Marquis’ mansion and put the flagpole in front as he tried to calm himself down. Shine noticed that he was looking unhappy for some reason.
“Master, it was enough to have conquered the 5th floor of the dungeon!”
“I don’t think it was that important to pass the 5th floor. Although, I won’t deny the fact that it was still amazing that I defeated the Floor Master at the age of 12…”
Shine was trying to comfort Evan, but the moment they crossed the mansion threshold, Maybell came rushing and hugged Evan.
“You just said it yourself, Master! You did your best, so why are you so depressed right now?”
“I’m so glad you’re okay Master! I was so worried that I thought I was going to lose my mind for a moment…!”
“Alright, Maybell. Get away from me please.”
“Everyone has heard about your achievements and were shocked beyond belief! Originally, the majority of the people expected you to run away. They didn’t believe that you could get through even the first floor of the dungeon!”
“Fine, that’s enough now…”
“But you really conquered the fifth floor! The fame of the Dungeon Knights has now shot through the roof, all because of you, Master Evan!”
“Yeah, okay, I get it. Now would you please get off of me, Maybell?!”
Maybell’s words may have felt a little exaggerated, but at least they were true. In fact, Evan had been able to uphold the respect of the Marquis of Sherden throughout the dungeon city.
With a bitter smile, Evan separated Maybell from himself, who was trying to kiss him.
“I need to go and wash myself.”
“Shall I wash you, Master?”
“Someone, please take Maybell away. And don’t let her enter my room!”
Evan wanted to go to the Brotherhood Bathhouse, but it was clear that if he went there now, he would receive a lot of unwanted attention from explorers.
After washing the blood and dirt from the dungeon off his body with hot water, Evan deliberately put on the cursed boots again. Like the leather gloves, these boots were going to become an important part of his life in the future.
“Okay, then this is the most important thing that I’m going to focus on from now on…”
After taking a deep breath, Evan confirmed that he was getting the effect of lowered stats properly. He put on his leather gloves and hung the Miraseul’s necklace around him.
‘My stats have probably been halved by now.’
Was it possible to practice slime training in this state? The practice of killing slimes instantly with more precise finishing blows before they even revealed their appearance was now going to become a careful practice.
But how would the shoes affect the other artifacts?
Evan’s dungeon level had risen, and he strengthened his body by upgrading his skills, so he thought the slime training would become more advantageous than ever. However, he was a bit skeptical about whether it was possible for him still to crush the repeatedly occurring slimes with a single strike.
‘This is important. Now I can practice slime training and curse resistance training at the same time if the boots are also affecting the other artifacts I’m wearing. If not, then I’ll have to come up with an improved plan to properly combine my curse resistance training and slime training.’
Then, he realized that he had also evolved his Surprise skill in the dungeon. Even with only a certain amount of help, he would now be able to kill the slimes effectively.
‘Because I am already wearing a cursed artifact, I don’t have to drink a poisonous tea separately to get sick.’
On the other hand, for hitting…
After confirming that he was properly equipped and all the other remaining conditions had been fulfilled, Evan took a deep breath once again, summoning slimes that wriggled around in his hand. Then, he clenched both of his fists.
There was silence. Evan kept at his slime training for a while and silently jammed both his hands continuously for about five minutes.
It wasn’t until after several minutes that he was able to kill six slimes at the same time, three in one hand at the same pace as he usually did.
Steadily, Evan began to gain confidence.
‘I’m doing it!’
Gradually it became very easy too, so much so that it was hard to recognize that his stats had been reduced by half. The Surprise skill was working excellently.
Evan felt like he was getting a reward for his struggle in the past years, after all. During that time, he worked hard to raise his level of existence, which was why he learned the Surprise skill by crushing the slimes over and over again. He had been working tirelessly with his fragile body, which was why he was finally able to master Cheonjung 2.
All of these efforts had made slime training at such a level finally possible. He had combined two projects of immortality (Number One and Number Six)!
“There won’t be any problems with slime training in the future…” Evan was sincerely relieved.
He did not want to reduce the amount of training by any means because he realized that the level of existence he was able to raise up until now was still not enough.
Could he afford to shorten the poison tolerance training time? That couldn’t be done either. In the game, Evan was cursed, manipulated, enchanted, weakened, petrified, and was killed dozens or hundreds of times.
‘Please, before the threat of another death sign comes in earnest, I hope to grow my poison tolerance by then!’
Evan guessed he might have enough time by then as he knew that he would experience death signs from the start of the main story…
Evan didn’t know all the workings of this world. Since he would have to face countless dangers one day, it was important to be prepared beforehand.
“To prepare for the future, I will have to practically start living in these cursed boots.”
That seemed to be the case, indeed.
Bernard was afraid of getting cursed himself, so he looked at his disciple, who insisted that he would live under the curse for the rest of his life, and wondered what he should say.
“Little boy, are you stupid?”
As expected, Evan rebutted. “This curse doesn’t hurt me in any way at all! Defense is much more important to me than my stats. Besides, they will also help me with my curse tolerance training. It’s like killing two birds with one stone.”
“Actually, it’s the other way around. What would you do then if you ever need to use your stats in a critical situation, huh?”
“I don’t know when, how and why such a situation will come that will require me to use my stats, but… When that time comes, just as I put on these boots, I can also take them off. And it doesn’t take me too long. I practiced, and now I can take them off in only a second.”
Evan proceeded to demonstrate it to Bernard.
Surprisingly, it was true. Evan’s leg and foot muscles moved elegantly, and his ankles reclined as the boots came out. The movement was so flawless that it seemed that he could easily take them off during an attack too.
“You’re such a show-off, you little rat.”
“No, I’m the person who strives only for one clear purpose. Isn’t that right, Liz?”
“Oh, wow! Oh!”
“Liz seems to agree.”
They were drinking tea in Evan’s room.
Evan said he wanted to talk with Bernard about the dungeons he had experienced for the first time in his life instead of practicing alchemy, so Bernard came to the mansion.
“And what is that little girl doing with us?”
“I came back out of the dungeon, and since then, she wouldn’t leave me.”
It seemed that Elizabeth was very disappointed that she couldn’t go with Evan inside the dungeon, and then came out of it with dirt and blood all over her like the others. As soon as Evan came out of the bath after having completely cleaned himself, Elizabeth ran and hugged him.
So, Evan decided to take the day off from fighting and alchemy training for his younger sister. He decided to devote himself to slime training, poison resistance, and curse resistance instead.
As a bonus, Evan got a chance to practice his poker face on her, but it didn’t have any effects.
“…But little boy, why are you giving the damned slime to your younger sister?”
“I’m also making her learn some of my techniques. Right, Liz?”
Elizabeth, held in Evan’s arms, struck the slime he had summoned while making an incomprehensible sound.
As Evan’s ability to control the slime’s stamina was exquisite, the slimes died easily by a child who was just gripping them once with her hands. Elizabeth wasn’t even wearing any artifacts.
“When you’re a child, it’s best to raise your level to increase your immunity, right? This is common sense these days.”
“Don’t talk like having a baby crush slimes is a good rule to follow in every house, boy. Still, she would get really strong.”
As Elizabeth’s physical strength permitted, she was constantly killing slimes, and Evan wasn’t sure, but he thought her existence level must have increased by one or two by now. He knew it would rise gradually.
Bernard hadn’t even heard of someone who killed a monster at the age of one, so even if he didn’t know, at least he thought it wouldn’t be bad for her. As Evan had said, it was natural that her immunity would rise.
“It would be nice if I had one more Miraseul’s necklace.”
“Quit it! Are you going to make her another monster, just like you already are?”
“I just wish for my younger sister to grow up healthy and strong. Isn’t that what every older brother wants for their sibling?”
“She will be very healthy even if she grows up without all this nonsense, so just leave her alone.”
Evan and Bernard enjoyed a leisurely afternoon as they watched the 1-year-old child vigorously squeeze slimes. Then, suddenly, Bernard spoke.
“Tell me, I’m curious about why the hell you called me here for.”
After carefully removing Elizabeth from his arms, Evan cautiously put his hand into his inventory pocket. He took out the Phoenix feather and laid it down on the table.
Bernard was dumbfounded. Did the legendary alchemist fail to recognize the feather of the Phoenix? Rather, he was at a loss of words because he knew exactly what it was and because he knew its immense significance.
“You… You really always surprise me. I thought I was going to have a heart attack.”
Many minutes had passed, and Bernard was still struggling to say something. Evan shrugged.
“I really didn’t know this time. If I knew I would acquire these, I would have consulted with Grandpa first.”
“This… Was this hidden in the dungeon?”
“I acquired it from a trap on the second floor of the dungeon. It was a treasure chest that sucked in people after they died. This feather appeared after feeding on a lot of monsters’ lives. Probably, it has absorbed a lot of human lives too.”
“A treasure chest…”
“I already lost the effect of the trap, but I definitely got rid of it.”
“You did a good job, kid.”
After saying so, the alchemist took control of his breath. He was guessing, of course, why Evan chose to show it to him.
“Little boy, do you remember that day when I said that you might become an alchemist sooner than I thought?”
“I do. It’s the best compliment my Grandpa has ever given me. How can I forget that?”
“I’ll take my words back.”
“What?! Why is that?”
“You…” Bernard carefully touched the Phoenix’s feather once, and then, afraid that he would get hurt, he carefully removed his hand. Then he spoke again, looking directly into Evan’s twinkling purple eyes.
“Evan, you are already an alchemist now. The least qualified alchemist who can search for truth.”
Bernard took a pause then said, “Then, will you study with me?”
As soon as Bernard praised him, Evan couldn’t help but laugh as he watched him throw out such bold words. Was Bernard beginning to see Evan as himself when he was young and full of energy?
However, unlike himself at the time, when he suffered a lot of failures due to his ambition, Bernard was now going to guide Evan. It was decisively different from his own past. And he wouldn’t dare predict the end either.
“Of course, kid. There will be a lot of work to do in the future, so be prepared for that.”
“Oh, my resolution has been doing enough since the moment I decided to show this to my grandfather.”
The two alchemists shook hands firmly while exchanging smiles that seemed to understand one another. Next to Evan, Elizabeth was clapping and laughing as if she knew everything.