The author published 16 new chapters the past couple of days after a month of inactivity https://ncode.syosetu.com/n0358dh/ Happy New Year
Perfecting a Jewel <Flash of the Black Eye (1)>
@Flash of the Black Eye
After signing a clear contract with Diamond, Sanghyuk handed over the production method. The production method was more in the form of skill rather than an instructions book that a user may learn.
That is, even if one knows all the essential ingredients, one could never produce the item unless the formula was formally registered as their own.
It was as if the production method was created through self enlightenment or by collecting pieces of intelligence. Even in EL, which feels like reality, is subject to such limitations since it was a game, after all.
Of course, this actually worked positively at this point.
Although Diamond did not come across as such a person, even if he were to disclose the information on the Flash of the Black Eye in the offline world, all that he could reveal was limited to the information on the item or the necessary ingredients for making it.
The thing that impacted Sanghyuk, to this point in time, is the fact that the price of the Flash of the Black Eye, which he has been discretely collecting, is going up so high. However, it did not impact him that much.
The item did not appear on the market much even when the information on the item was unavailable.* Just by looking at the fact that Sanghyuk was only able to collect two of the Flash of the Black Eye, only through good luck at the beginning, it was clear that the impact wouldn’t be huge.
In conclusion, as far as Sanghyuk was concerned, Diamond was not a person with loose lips even in offline situations. That was one of the reasons that he was led to sign the contract.*
As soon as Sanghyuk handed over the production method, Diamond immediately moved to enter the method as his own ancient knowledge into ‘Jewelry Craftsmanship (Beginner Master)’ registrar.
Such information, regarding production methods, could be independently registered and by using the self registered method, items could be produced.
Of course, simply registering the production method does not complete the work.
Every production method required a skill level and in the case of the Flash of the Black Eye, the required skill level was above ‘Beginner Master’ in order to acquire it.
As soon as the method was learned, it was possible to produce the item, but at a lower quality. As a result, after a well thought out discussion with Diamond, he had decided to pull up the beginner master to an intermediate master as soon as possible.
The plan was to produce the Flash of Black Eye afterwards.
In a normal situation, achieving intermediate master level from beginner master level was not an easy task. However, Sanghyuk thought that it may not be such a difficult work if Diamond’s enthusiasm in jewelry making and his financial power were combined. Furthermore, in his efforts to find the ‘Flash of the Black Eye’ formula, Sanghyuk utilized Shadow Line in collecting countless numbers of pieces of information on jewelry making and related information. As a result, he not only had the production method for the Flash of the Black Eye, but also many other production method for crafting different jewelries.
By passing the 5 production methods for crafting new jewels and high quality ingredients to Diamond, his jewelry crafting skill level will no doubt increase very quickly.
Of course, it wouldn’t be for free.
Sanghyuk had deducted the amounts for the ingredients and the production methods from the one million gold that he had promised to pay.
Hence, the 1 million gold were reduced to 100 thousand, but Diamond had no interest in money at all.
He had already become a slave to Sanghyuk by simply Sanghyuk delivering the ingredients and production methods.
In some ways, Diamond’s reasoning was very simple.
He was only a man, full of desires, to become a better craftsman of jewelry.
At this time, even Sanghyuk was curious as to what line of work he was in offline, but they weren’t friendly enough to be asking such questions. As far as Sanghyuk was concerned, he always welcomed becoming friends with people with high craftsmanship, so he freely provided ingredients to Diamond in order to help him to quickly increase his skill level in jewelry making.
While Diamond was raising his level of jewelry crafting skill, Sanghyuk was diligently trotting the Heroic Lands in order to catch the Shadow Line.
Unlike the Shadow Line of the Hellfire Desert that was acquired so easily, the Heroic Lands was as secretly hidden as the name suggested. As the Shadow Line that Sanghyuk oversaw weren’t very effective in the Heroic Lands, it was up to Sanghyuk himself to locate the hidden Shadow Line.
Although he had started out thinking it would be easy, he had no other option than to put in serious efforts in locating the Shadow Line as he wasn’t able to discover even the slightest hint.
* * * *
“They are everywhere. In fact, they may just be watching over us right at this moment.”
The quest, ‘Finding the Black Market’ has entered a new stage and transformed itself into ‘The Secret Force in the Dark’.
Exactly ten days after he has set out in search for the Shadow Line of the Heroic Lands, Sanghyuk was finally able to catch a small trace.
‘The secret force in the dark….. This must certainly be the Shadow Line.’
To be more accurate, he had to clear it through continuation of the quest, but he was certain just from his feelings.
‘Let see, the content of the quest is ….. Locate the watcher in the dark? This is so easy.’
‘The Secret Force in the Dark,’ Sanghyuk smiled subtly after learning the details of the quest. Then he extended his right arm lightly towards the direction of a shadow that was in the alley, diagonal to his right.
The watcher has been there all along. Knowing that, however, Sanghyuk was just playing dumb.
‘Darkness’ and ‘concealment’ were special abilities of Sanghyuk in the first place. Those that are able to hide well are better seekers as well.
It was a foolish attempt to be hiding in the dark or shadows around Sanghyuk.
The ten millenia goldbone whip that was sucked up into the dark wrapped around the neck of a NPC, and the NPC was dragged out from the shadows without any resistance.
It was related to the quest so evil karma did not rise nor did Sanghyuk become a criminal even after attacking a normal NPC.
In fact, only the quest has been cleared.
The quest, ‘the secret force in the dark’ has been cleared. Now, continuing to the next quest, ‘interrogation of the watcher’.
It even created the linked quest. At this level, it would be safe to assume that he was close to the Shadow Line.
First, Sanghyuk dragged the watcher to a quieter place. Although it was still nearby, just by entering a back alley allows avoiding people as the place was a very rural village.
In the second place, whip was a weapon specially designed for interrogation.
Sanghyuk whipped the watcher violently to the bones. By calibrating his strength, the attack did not cause much damage although they stung terribly.
After 20 minutes of such punishment, the watcher finally gave in.
“I am a low level intel person, belonging to the Shadow Line. I was just simply collecting information. I am commissioned to watch over special individuals that enter my district. I did not especially target you, that is.”
The watcher began to speak of all the things that he knew.
“Things that I know are very limited. Our organization is structured in the form of dispersed agents hence, what I know is limited to just the intelligence reporting channels. On top of that, I am not aware whether there are other intelligence agents in my district.”
Perhaps, it was because he was a low level intel person that he hardly knew anything. However, since he at least got the tail end of the Shadow Line with 100% certainty, he had to be satisfied with it.
The quest, ‘the interrogation of the watcher’ is now connecting to the next quest, ‘the district boss of the Shadow Line.’
The quest continued on. Although the information was still very insufficient, he felt that he would, at some point, run in to the Shadow Line by continuing on with the quest.
‘Gosh, it must be tried at least for 20 repetitions?’
Perhaps, 30 reps or even 40 reps, rather than 20, must be tried. However, now that he has caught the tail end of it, Sanghyuk thought that he would never let go of it.*
Since any kind of mistake that leads to a failure of the quest would mean losing everything in the linked quests and that new hints have to be found, he needed to focus on the quest even more carefully than usual.
As the cases in such level cannot be resolved in a day or two, it was necessary to cautiously move forward with the quest by reserving at least ten to one month of time.
While Sanghyuk was focused on locating the Shadow Line, Diamond proved how great the production affiliated user’s power was by sleeping just one or two hours a day.
Due to that, in exactly 20 days, he was able to raise his skill level to the intermediate master from the beginner master.
Based on this, Diamond was certainly a talented user. For a user without talent, it would be impossible to raise one’s skill level to intermediate from beginner no matter how much you supported him.
With the talent demonstrated by Diamond, Sanghyuk was able to make a set of Flash at much earlier time than had planned.
After being contacted by Diamond, Sanghyuk retrieved two Flashes of Black Eyes from the warehouse and went to his work room.
“Hugh, even I am nervous over this.”
Placing the Flash of Black Eyes on to the work table, Diamond looked at Sanghyuk with slight shaking of his head.
As they shared more interactions than before, Diamond and Sanghyuk were talking with more ease.
“There is no reason to be nervous. Good result will be made if you would proceed as you would normally do.”
Sanghyuk spoke to Diamond in an attempt to make him feel at ease, but he also wished for maximum pluses to be added in his mind.
‘At least one….. I mean, if two were added…..’
As this is a 4 set items, it would matter more than one thought in terms of whether one or two are added.
“Then, I will begin.”
After Diamond opened the window, before his eyes, for creating jewelry, he clicked on ‘Flash of Black Eye (ornament set)’.
“I will first craft a ring.”
Srrrr, as Diamond clicked on the ring image, the image was displayed in Diamond’s right eye.
From this point, it was up to Diamond to personally craft the Flash of Black Eye.
If wanted, he could apply ‘auto crafting’ to produce a result right away. In fact, most production users select auto crafting to make items. However, Diamond has never used the auto crafting function.
As it was just demonstrated, he personally cuts the jewels after overlaying the recipe over his eye. By doing this, he was able to produce an item with better quality than by choosing auto crafting.
However, the difference wasn’t all that great.
So, there are many that claim that manual crafting was just a fanciful façade. Further, even with using system calibration, manual crafting was not easy.
In fact, those that lacked hand skills often produce poorer quality when they use manual crafting. As a result, more and more believed that manual crafting was useless.
However, because of Diamond’s insistence, Sanghyuk could rely on him more. Sanghyuk knew that the limitation of auto crafting was at the level of great craftsmanship.
In order to go beyond that and reach the master of the sky or the heavenly master and godly master, a craftsmanship bestowed by gods, will require manual crafting no matter what.
With auto crafting, the skill level will not rise beyond that of the highest master craftsmanship. Furthermore, even after reaching the master craftsmanship, the level at which the skill levels rise by differed.
‘I will not change the course of Diamond’s endeavor. He certainly had the talent to reach heavenly craftsmanship, or even godly craftsmanship. I certainly must trust….a user such as this!’
Sanghyuk moved back quietly and watched the focused Diamond, who was handling the Flash of Black Eye with the crafting tools in both his hands.
According to the system, as it was impossible to craft without overlaying the recipe over the right eye, manual crafting was not an easy task even for Diamond.
However, the one thing that was sure was…. The movements of his hands were beyond ordinary.
Sanghuk watched every bit of the process with dead silence.
After about 10 minutes have passed….finally, the first result was produced.
< [Chapter 97] Flash of the Black Eye (1) > END.
Editor’s Notes: In another words, even when no one except Sanghyuk knew the value of this item, no one was selling. Logically, if people knew what this item did, they would immediately snap it up for themselves, but even when people didn’t know, it was unavailable. It is that rare.
*Editor’s Notes: The implication is that this item is naturally high valued, despite people not knowing what it was for, due to the auction buyout of millions in gold Sanghyuk made in an earlier chapter. The high value of this item wasn’t due to Diamond blabbing his secrets offline. (or it would be even higher) So due to Sanghyuk’s knowledge of the market, he knows Diamond is keeping his mouth shut. I think. This is a confusing part of the novel…:p
*Editor’s Notes: So Sanghyuk has to catch multiple spies in multiple villages before finding the district boss of Shadow Line. 🙁