Chapter 218: A Fast Learner
Since he didn't want to be called a crazy person for talking to himself, Sila deactivated Moon Reflecting Mirror before exiting the cave. Despite the the mirror not being activated, he could still feel Dark Self's existence. It was a surreal sensation unlike anything he had ever experienced. He suspected it was due to the fact that they both acknowledged each other.
The sensation was just a feeling, however. They still couldn't converse without the help of the mirror. However, Sila could feel what Dark Self would do or say in certain situations. Nevertheless, the one who makes the final decision would still be Sila.
With the same bottle of sake on a table, Crow was waiting for Sila's return. On the table, in addition to the bottle of sake, was a small golden box. Its size was similar to all the random boxes in Monster Soul Sila had opened before.
"You have finished your business, right? Sit down first. I have something to tell you."
Crow said while pointing at an empty chair next to him. Sila approached the table and sat down.
Crow stared at him. "Whatever you wanted to do in the Cave of Immortals, did you succeed?"
"Yes, sir. I—"
Crow lifted his hand to stop Sila from talking and pushed the golden box toward him.
"It's better if I don't know... Take it."
"What is this, sir?" Sila asked while flipping the box. Except for its eye-catching color, there was nothing special about it.
"The reward of the quest. It's yours."
"Is it about our previous spar? You don't have to do this, sir. I honestly don't want anything."
"No, that's not it. Actually, you should have obtained this prize the first time you were here. As the NPC stationed in the Valley of Immortals, I have the right to choose who receives the reward out of those who can reach this valley by themselves. However, I didn't give it to you last time because Sanon and Vichien asked me not to."
"Is that so?" replied Sila. He put the box in front of him. In his mind, Dark Self clearly displayed dissatisfaction when he heard the names of the two Elders.
Crow poured sake into his mouth. "Don't misunderstand. It's me who had the final say in the decision. To give it to you or not, it ultimately depended on me. By the way, those two didn't do it with malice. In fact, they wished you well."
"Wished me well? How?"
"Once you open this box, it will give you a suitable weapon. It sounds like a good thing, however, we all know that the Flaming Cloud Dojo doesn't have a weapon art. No matter how great a weapon you obtain from the box, your ability to grow stronger will decline and you will only end up being a stepping stone for Montra. Sanon and Vichien were worried that you might lose, so they told me to keep it at least until after the war event."
Crow continued. "If I didn't know about your mission beforehand, I would have already given this box to you. Having a weapon is beneficial for you in the long run. I considered it would be harmful to you in the short term so I kept it with me. However, seeing you this time, I know that you are not a stepping stone, but a giant stone mountain. This trivial matter won't be able to make you waver."
Sila sat still. "What have the Elders been doing? Could you please tell me?"
"As far as I know, they are trying to reduce Montra's army in order to indirectly help you. Sanon announced a strict order prohibiting all his disciples from joining Montra; only Kawin and Revin are disobeying the order. As for Vichien, he exited the game and visited several dojo's masters he knew to persuade them to withdraw from joining Montra. Only Mora, your teacher, kept his silence and hasn't done anything."
"That's because Teacher believes in me! The other two Elders don't think I have what it takes to accomplish the mission at all! If Mister Crow gets a chance to meet them, please tell them stop trying to help!" Sila stood up and raised his voice.
Sila had been thinking that he had been cheated by Montra. However, it turned out that Montra was the one being cheated. Even though it was just a small feeling, Sila felt he could sympathize with Montra's emotions more so than before. He couldn't imagine his own rage if Mora, his own teacher, was supporting his opponent instead of him.
If that were to happen, undoubtedly, he would extremely loath his opponent. Strangely enough, he had never considered this point of view before. Was this Dark Self's perspective when he looked at Montra?
"If you were an ordinary player, I would have already given you this box without caring for the consequences. Therefore, take it."
Sila promptly took the box. Since the Elders didn't want him to open it, he would open it. As his fingertips touched the box's cover, Crow fired bullet energy at him through his finger, causing Sila to hastily evade.
"What was that for, sir?"
"Drink this cup of sake and open it elsewhere. I don't want to know what you get," Crow replied while pushing a cup of sake toward Sila.
Under normal circ.u.mstances, Sila wouldn't drink alcohol. However, he wasn't in the mood to decline today. He swallowed all the sake in his cup in one gulp. A sweet fragrance and hot flavor flowed from his neck to his stomach.
"I don't think I will come to visit this place again until after the war event ends. I beg your pardon. Farewell, sir."
Crow nodded, and Sila leaped toward the exit, heading for the forest. As he left, Crow muttered some words behind without caring if Sila heard.
"You shall come back for sure, Sila, and there will be no handicap next time."
Crow silently emptied the bottle.
Sila firmly held the golden box in his hand. His body soared through the Single-Horned Dragon Forest like he was a forest spirit. The time was only three o'clock in the morning, but Sila felt like a long time had pa.s.sed since midnight. As he entered the inner forest, he stopped his feet and stared at the box in his hand.
"I won't let anyone else decide things for us. Since I already have the Crystal Divine Sword, this one is yours."
All alone, Sila talked to himself in the forest. Yet he knew that there was someone listening to his words. That person responded to his words by emanating Dark Psychic Corrosion from his hand to envelop the box.
The golden box was opened, and a golden crystal flew out before absorbing Dark Psychic Corrosion and dyeing itself jet black. Even natural light from the moon and stars were absorbed into it. Finally, pure darkness reigned over the area, and in front of Sila was a thick sword, both its dangerously jagged blade and its handle the darkest black Sila had ever seen. It seemed to be made from a black crystal that shone even in a world covered in darkness.
Sila extended his hand to grab it. He gave the sword a name as soon as the system asked him. It was the name that suddenly came to his mind. He guessed that Dark Self came up with it.
"Crystal Demonic Sword."
You have successfully produced (S) Crystal Demonic Sword.
"Seal the Crystal Demonic Sword," Sila said, and the black sword flew into the Mechanical Evil G.o.d's Protection.
Reminded of the time when Dark Self fused his sword with Illuminus into his claws, Sila was inspired to do the same.
A third, mechanical arm appeared over Sila's right shoulder. It seemed Way of Slime didn't cause a permanent change to items.
A faint gold light glowed from Illuminus, and Ramiel's brooch flew from his system window even though Sila didn't have any intention to draw it out.
Illuminus emitted a bright light, and made it appear as if night turned to day in an instant. The third arm broke into fine dust and was absorbed into Sila's right arm. Then, his right arm transformed into a work of art—a mechanical arm with a beauty that transcended common sense. The small brooch embedded itself into his right shoulder and transformed into a shoulder guard with a white wing symbol.
You have successfully completed Illuminus' side quest. Illuminus has obtained an additional ability: The Power of Rebirth.
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You have acquired the special skill: (A) Domain of Light.
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