To Hell With Being a Hero! - BestLightNovel.com
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Chapter 367. Omen
The Seven Stars’ base was bustling with activities for the past few days. People clamored to obtain the widely-acclaimed AI Armor, which was being distributed every morning. The value of Mariaju’s name was truly astounding as heroes flocked to Seven Stars after hearing that she made this item herself. Since the heroes had been frantically trying to procure an AI Armor for themselves, the League members in Shalyh also naturally became interested. Thus, although it had only been five days since the AI Armors began official distribution, they sold out in only a couple of hours every day.
Today was no exception. When the AI Armor in stock ran out, those who had been waiting since dawn had to leave with disappointed expressions. Although they grumbled a little, there weren’t major complaints because people thought that the way Seven Stars distributed the goods was fair and reasonable; the rule was one AI Armor for every person, and first come, first serve. For those who had failed to buy one after several days of waiting, they could get a waiting number. The daily supply fluctuated depending on Yeriel’s condition, but the heroes were satisfied by the fact that they could get it earlier the next day the longer they waited.
Above all, no one had the heart to complain after hearing that not a single member of Seven Stars had received an AI Armor yet. Those who didn’t have insider knowledge praised Seven Stars for their generosity and consideration for ordinary heroes like them, but that wasn’t really the case. Yeriel had already set aside a part of the daily production and given it to specific groups or tribes. First, there was no need to even mention the buhguhbus, who had provided significant aid in producing the AI Armors. She also didn’t forget to give AI Armors to surrounding organizations to promote friends.h.i.+p.
“What is this?”
“Lady Apoline, Seven Stars has set aside AI Armors specifically for us. They told me that since you were surely busy, they wanted you to get your hands on a set without having to wait…”
“Oh my, there was no need for them to go out of their way.”
The Afrilith member delivering Seven Stars’ gift blinked. Contrary to her words, Apoline’s expression was basically saying, ‘Of course! They should obviously take care of me first!’
“But is this it?” Apoline then asked.
“Did they send anything else?”
“No…since they’re lacking in supplies, even this much is…”
When a trace of disappointment appeared on Apoline’s face, the Afrilith member realized they had forgotten to relay another message and continued, “Ah, come to think of it, I was told to deliver another message. They told me that the quality of the product is lacking due to the current material limitations. If their process improves later on, they said they’d take special care to provide some better products to Afrilith…”
“Aha!” Apoline’s slightly disappointed face immediately reverted back to her normal expression; her nose was raised high as well, as if she knew this was going to happen. “Oh my…he didn’t have to…but I guess he wanted to take care of me somehow again…”
‘What???’ The Afrilith member tilted their head in utter befuddlement. The same situation unfolded at Ho Lactea’s place. Although Alice’s reaction was calm when she heard the report that the AI Armor sent from Seven Stars had arrived, as soon as the Ho Lactea member withdrew, a soft smile appeared on her face.
“He really didn’t have to.” Alice had already heard the news. There was so much talk about the insufficient supplies of AI Armors, but even amidst this scarcity, Seven Stars had set aside supplies for Ho Lactea. As expected, no one took care of their older sister like a younger sibling.
“How can I not love you when you’re like this? Right, my sweet child?” Alice asked while patting the potted plant on her desk. Of course, she wasn’t talking about romantic love, but familial love. She began to imagine little Chi-Woo following his older sister around and saying he wanted to marry her when he grew up.
‘But what if that really happens?’ Alice, who had been full of smiles, suddenly became very serious. Now that she thought about this possibility, it didn’t seem impossible. She was a descendant of a G.o.d, and as Greek and Roman mythology had shown, the G.o.ds didn’t seem to concern themselves with biological ties when it came to relations.h.i.+ps.
While Alice agonized over the issue of her own imagination, Chi-Woo personally visited a place with an AI Armor in tow. It was the territory of the half demons.
“Why are you here, human?” Although Murumuru’s tone was the same as always, they didn’t raise their guard like before.??ℯe?????ѵel. ?o?
“I have business with you,” Chi-Woo also answered in a cold, matter-of-fact tone.
“I’m here to deliver this.” Chi-Woo put down the AI Armor set. Murumuru looked at him with surprise at first and then looked fl.u.s.tered, as if they were wondering why Chi-Woo was giving this to them. Murumuru probably had heard about the AI Armors by now and must have wanted it for the half-demon tribe as well. However, Murumuru hadn’t been able to reach out because of the att.i.tude they had shown so far. Thus, Chi-Woo decided to help out the hesitant half-demon.
Chi-Woo said, “Don’t take this the wrong way.”
“I’m just here to pay off my previous debt.”
Murumuru’s complexion brightened instantly; Chi-Woo seemed to be talking about the support half-demons had given him not too long ago. Murumuru replied, “Hmm, I haven’t even been thinking about getting repaid, but if it bothers you so much, I guess I’ll accept this.”
Chi-Woo provided a justification for the other party to receive the armor without feeling burdened. The half-demons were a minority group ostracized by everyone and united by a singular devotion to their own kind. There was no way Murumuru would turn down a precious object that would save the lives of their tribe.
“With this, there’s no debt between us.” Chi-Woo immediately turned around as if he had finished his business.
“Haha. He must be embarra.s.sed. These humans.”
Chi-Woo heard Murumuru chuckling behind his back, and his lips curled into a soft smile. ‘You should say that to yourself,’ he thought. Like this, Seven Stars had just about provided AI Armors to all the organizations they had connections with, but it wasn’t over yet. Chi-Woo clearly defined those around him as friend or foe, but he didn’t bound himself to only these binary categories. And this was the reason Eval Sevaru visited the Kobalos tribe under Chi-Woo’s special order.
“This is a gift from my boss to you.” Eval Sevaru delivered the AI Armor set and carefully observed the elderly leader of the Kobalos tribe, and then his eyes glinted. Eval Sevaru hadn’t understood Chi-Woo’s order at first. Setting aside goods and taking care of specific groups was all good and dandy to him. It was natural to do that for the buhguhbus tribe, and there was no need to even explain the benefits of aiding the organizations around them. Since they had received help from the half-demon tribe recently, giving a set to them was also understandable. However, no matter how much he thought about it, he couldn’t understand why Chi-Woo would extend his grace to the Kobalos’ tribe.
Of course, this didn’t mean that he was going to go against Chi-Woo’s order. He could have asked why, but Eval Sevaru stopped himself from doing so. In order to be loved, hunting dogs needed to run before their owner and corner the prey in advance instead of blindly following their owner. Likewise, Eval Sevaru thought he needed to realize the meaning behind Chi-Woo’s order by himself and move one step ahead. Eval Sevaru was convinced that there was a special reason Chi-Woo was giving the AI Armor to the Kobalos tribe, who had nothing special to offer and didn’t have much of a voice in the League.
Normally, any tribe would welcome the idea of accepting an item like this before anyone else with open arms. However, the Kobalos leader looked conflicted, and he seemed worried whether he should accept the AI Armor set or not. He must know as well that there was no goodwill without a price. Maybe the Kobalos leader could guess that Chi-Woo wanted something from them.
“Thank you for your gift, but I’m sure there must be many who need it more than us…”
“Sir, you don’t have to feel pressured. This is just a small gesture of friends.h.i.+p from my boss to kindle our cooperation.” When the Kobalos leader subtly tried to fish for more information, Eval Sevaru made his intentions clear, which was no different from saying, ‘Hey, so are you going to take it or not?’
The Kobalos leader hesitated for a long time and finally sighed. “…Thank you. Please tell him that I’ll visit him soon and greet him.” In the end, he couldn’t refuse.
The corner of Eval Sevaru’s mouth slightly rose. “Thank you. I’m sure he’ll be very happy to hear your response.” Their work with the Kobalos was completed, and a few more days pa.s.sed like this.
* * *
[User Choi Chi-Woo’s merits: 20,453,982]
Chi-Woo couldn’t hide his joy as he had acc.u.mulated 20 million merits in a short amount of time. Considering that the distribution of the AI Armor was still at its early stages, this was quite the generous reward. As Yeriel and Eval Sevaru said, giving out supplies for free must have raised a lot of merits, and Chi-Woo opened his fostering information without hesitation. His innate ability ‘Divine Inspiration’ had changed into basic ability ‘Purification Breathing’ with his brother’s help, and was thus removed from his fostering information. Excluding Golden Ratio and Halo, he was able to raise Core of Balance, Divine Blood, and the rest of his innate abilities to rank B. He still didn’t know whether Halo was useful, and Golden Ratio required too many merits to rank up. If he remembered correctly, it took about 2 million merits for him to raise it to rank S, and when he tried to raise it to rank EX…
3. Innate— [Golden Ratio S] (200,000,000 Up ↑!)
After seeing this, he completely gave up on raising Golden Ratio’s rank to EX. The amount of merits he needed increased 100 fold rather than ten times. It was so astronomical that the system was basically telling him to not raise it to rank EX. On the other hand, it was viable to rank up Core of Balance and Diving Blood. It took 53,295 merits to raise Core of Balance from rank E to D, about 500,000 from D to C, and about 5 million from C to B. For Divine Blood, it was about 50,000 from E to D, 250,000 from D to C, and a little more than 1.25 million from C to B.
The system at least seemed to have a conscience as the merits acquired only increased fivefold, and he still had some merits left. Chi-Woo wondered if he should raise Divine Blood to rank A while he was at it, but decided to save his merits for later rather than spending them recklessly.
Then Chi-Woo suddenly burst into laughter. It seemed just like yesterday when he trembled to use as little as a couple of thousand merits and cursed after seeing that he needed more than 50,000 merits to raise a rank. Before he knew it, he had already used millions of merits. Still, this was not just a laughing matter.
[User Choi Chi-Woo’s Merit Count: 11,347,565]
1. Innate – [Core of Balance B] (51, 376,427 Up↑!)
2. Innate – [Divine Blood B] (6,257,285 Up↑!)
3. Innate – [Golden Ratio S] (200,000,000 Up↑!)
4. Innate – [Halo F] (500 Up↑!)
“…” Chi-Woo became speechless after confirming his newly updated fostering information. Raising his tier alone had taken him a lot of merits, and then there was his fostering information to worry about. It was questionable whether he could raise any of these abilities to rank EX. However, considering what the AI Armor had brought him, it didn’t seem impossible.
‘Is there an ability that allows me to multiply the merits I earn?’ Such frivolous thoughts pa.s.sed through his mind as Chi-Woo leaned back into his desk chair in the office. As had always happened after he ranked up Core of Balance, he soon felt sleepy. Since he had upgraded two ranks at once this time, he would probably gain not just one ability, but two.
True to his thought, sleep began to overcome him after a moment of waiting.
‘Please give me a useful ability…not something like Breakthrough…’ Chi-Woo desperately prayed and closed his eyes.
* * *
How long has it been? Chi-Woo felt intense dizziness when he opened his eyes. He didn’t know how exactly to describe it, but it felt as if he'd been dead asleep for days. Moreover, when his blurry vision finally gained focus, he saw the ceiling of his lodging. Although he had fallen asleep in the office, he was now lying in bed. And it was dark outside the window.
‘Did someone move me while I’m asleep?’ When he ranked up Core of Balance in the past, he had fainted for a while but opened his eyes right away. Chi-Woo rubbed his eyes and looked into the air. As expected, it was full of messages.
[A new ability has been derived from the innate ability ‘Core of Balance’.]
[Special Ability ‘Imprinting: Core of Union’ has been created.]
[Special Ability ‘El Dorado’s Treasure’ has been created.]
1. [Sharing S]
2. [Imprinting: Core of Union - ] - As a result of increasing its rank, Core of Balance’s reach has widened to accommodate external devices. A device bound to the Core of Balance can receive the user’s energy and exert external influence in addition to its original function.
3. [El Dorado’s Treasure - ] - A golden palace where all kinds of goods and treasures are believed to be. Ironically, it’s a palace of ideals only those who have lived their whole lives without greed and have done good deeds can reach. An additional amount of merits will be added to the amount of merits acc.u.mulated by the user’s good deed. However, if the user acts against the vow made to the G.o.d he serves or acts with immoral intentions, all the bonus given to the user so far would be retrieved, and in some cases, all the merits will be confiscated. Keep in mind that other abilities may also fall in rank.
As expected, he gained two new abilities. Chi-Woo fell into thought after reading the abilities’ description. Although the description itself wasn’t readily understandable, he could roughly grasp what the abilities did by connecting it with recent events. Imprinting seemed to be an ability that emerged in consideration of the recent revolution that Yeriel had caused. He would only know for sure if he used it himself, but it was probably related to the AI Armor.
Chi-Woo was surprised by the El Dorado’s Treasure; he had hoped for an ability that increased his merit, but hadn’t really expected one to come out. Although the exact bonus it would provide wasn’t listed, he was happy about the skill; there were many areas he needed merits for, and now there was a way for him to earn more. Of course, considering that it was an ability that could significantly shake the foundation of the growth system, there was a penalty befitting its benefits.
‘In short, the system is telling me to not abuse my ability.’ Chi-Woo rubbed his eyes while nodding and called forth his fostering information again.
[User Choi Chi-Woo’s Merit: 21,629,791]
Then his eyes widened; he was so surprised that he sprang up. ‘What?’ Just before he went to sleep, he only had 11 million merits, but when he woke up, there was an additional 10 million. ‘How long have I been asleep…?’ Chi-Woo exhaled and stretched his shoulders, touching the bed with both hands.
‘Huh?’ Then he felt something warm, soft, and mushy against his palm; he hadn’t realized it until now, but there was a warmth on his side. Chi-Woo sighed with his eyes closed. It was obvious what had happened; someone probably sneaked in and slept next to him while he was unconscious. For example, Steam Bun frequently did this. He had experienced this once or twice before; he wasn’t even surprised now. Chi-Woo shook his head and turned to his side. Then…
“Aghhhhhhhh—” A scream erupted from Chi-Woo’s room and reached far, far away—so far that even Evelyn, who was drinking tea with a worried face while stroking Steam Bun, who was hoping to munch on some snacks, could hear it.