No matter how many times I looked at the dagger, it was the Third Virtue’s main weapon. He had reinforced a trash weapon from a bronze box to an S Class Executioner. He had been that sort of an obsessed guy, and whoever he targeted had not died easily.
“It’s a good one, right?”
I nodded at her question as I knew its power, and history. The Third Virtue’s weapon had been one of the strongest used by the Eight Evils and Eight Virtues, and I now understood why the Fool’s Knife’s was impossible to defend against. This weapon had not been registered in any databases, in my searches in the previous timeline. I could not discount the possibility of the Third Virtue having removed the database entries, as he had been secretive about its terrifying random debuff. In the previous timeline, I could only guess what the Fool’s Knife actually did, based on eyewitness reports. I do know it seems to be an extremely rare weapon since I had never seen anything like it before, in my searches into the databases documenting reported drops from system boxes, and dungeon boxes.
Yeonhee Woo looked satisfied as she opened the next box.
“I got 2 Strength points.”
Her voice was mixed, and she stopped opening boxes for a minute. Four boxes were remaining, and Yeonhee went to the mini fridge in the room to find a bottle of water. She was murmuring to herself about an Escape insignia.
The next box gave her 9 attribute points, and she chanted “I am lucky, I am lucky.”. She was right, as the next box gave her a Reinforcement insignia.
[Yeonhee Woo gave you a Reinforcement insignia.]
It seemed like the system was telling me to reinforce the Fool’s Knife, and I explained to Yeonhee what the insignia did.
“This insignia is used to raise item classes, but using it does not determine success.”
“It’s luck again?”
I added that the possibility of succeeding went down as the class went up, and the weapon was destroyed if a reinforcement failed. I was beginning to influence Yeonhee, and she sounded as pessimistic about the system as I was.
“Relying on luck to determine rewards is not right. We don’t rely on luck inside the dungeon, and you risked your life…Anyway, the Reinforcement insignia is a good one, right?”
“It’s as rare as Escape.”
Yeonhee breathed deep at that and sounded both happy and disappointed. She looked tired as she locked her fingers together to stretch herself. She seemed to think she did not need to wash again.
“I’m starting again.”
Right after those words, she hugged me, and her eyes were bright with excited tears as her voice shook.
“I got one!”
When a man and woman sleep together on the same bed, there’s a certain thought that always occurs to either person. What’s more, Yeonhee was still excited about the box, and it showed in her breathing as she could not sleep yet.
She closed her eyes tightly when I called her name, and the silence was tense.
“I’ll sleep on the floor.”
Yeonhee opened her eyes then.
I took only a pillow, as the floor was heated. I needed time to control my thoughts and cool my blood. Her soft breathing tempted me, but I could not sleep with her. Dungeons would not let us be. Such a relationship would not let us fight when needed and abandon each other when the situation was dire.
I knew many people who had died like that. It had not been love, but people had still died. One did not have relationships with your party members as a rule, even though Yeonhee would not understand it.
Even after Perception rises a class, an Awakened wouldn’t have heightened awareness until they learn to control their senses. Despite my regression, I saw that I still had a ways to go, because I had not woken up when Yeonhee placed a blanket over me during the night.
“What time is it?”
I opened the curtains to see the sunlight.
“I did not wake you up since you seemed tired.”
However, the highway had heavy traffic due to a sudden snowfall, and two hours had passed after we had a light meal in a resting area. We were still on the highway, and I changed the radio to a finance channel that was looking back at the IMF era. I turned on the volume. Yeonhee did not seem to mind.
-There are two likely reasons for Korea requiring IMF loans, and ending up receiving IMF management, right?
-Yes. One theory is that large domestic firms caused confusion due to mismanagement. The other is that we were too obsessed with foreign funds and firms, leading to unsustainable loans.
-It was about a year ago when Jonathan came to Korea. We can’t omit that.
-Korea’s problems, post IMF, haven’t really gone away, as foreign firms and companies based on foreign funds like Jeonil are still the major players in Korea.
-On the other hand, domestically owned firms are struggling.
-Yes, Korean entrepreneurship is dying. While the government is saying they would create the best country to start a business, those are just empty words. What’s the essence of a company?
-Yes, and the government is forgetting that as they try to hold domestic firms responsible for social, political, and cultural problems.
I thought it would be about reviewing the Korean economy and future plans, but it had been a radio show owned by a large conglomerate. A cynical person might suspect them of trying to shift the blame…luckily I’m a firm believer in things working out for the best, and the milk of human kindness. (EN: ^_^ )
“It seems like a different world. I’m driving, and the snow is pretty. But, how do you manage your…Financial Empire? You did say it was like your job.”
“I’m changing the channel.”
-Global Credit Rating Agencies have placed a surprising value on the Korean Won by raising it from BB+ to A- despite many disqualified or bankrupt companies, and an economy that many analysts say is struggling to stay afloat.
The Korean IMF crisis was ending, and it would resolve itself around early 2000, which was next year. It was a year earlier than the original timeline. I just hoped it would not affect my future investments too much.
Time was going slow on the highway. My low light vision skill automatically turned itself on because of the darkness of a winter night. I turned it off, but Yeonhee’s eyes still had the reddish hue of Night Eyes. While such things do not show in dungeons, they did so on Earth. Yeonhee glanced at me.
“Sleep a bit. It would take us two hours at the least…”
However, I already had the Fool’s Knife out, and out of all the items, my best option was to do the same thing the Third Virtue had done. I had my own ritual, and that was to reinforce items at night. I had made an A class weapon to an S on a night like this.
“I’ll give you a bonus if this turns to E. So, wish me luck.”
“It will. We’re lucky.”
She seemed to be thinking of her luck with the Escape insignia, which meant we could have a real shot at this. The system activated itself. (EN: Yep, Sun is superstitious too. He just refuses to admit it. ^_^ )
[You have used the insignia ‘Reinforcement.’]
[Will you use it on the Fool’s Knife?”
[The insignia ‘Reinforcement’ has now been removed.]
A copper light wrapped itself around the dagger, and if this failed, I would be holding nothing.
[Congratulations, you have succeeded.]
[The item class has risen from F to E.]
[Congratulations! You have gained a Gold Box for being the second Awakened to succeed in reinforcing an item.]
[You have gained 57 agility points.]
[Congratulations! Your agility class has risen. F -> E]
[You have completed the achievement ‘Trailblazer.’]
[You have gained the trait ‘Forerunner’ as the Second Place achievement reward.]
Edited by Userunfriendly