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 circumstances, 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 passed 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 God’s Protection .
Reminded of the time when Dark Self fused his sword with Illuminus into his claws, Sila was inspired to do the same .
“Release Illuminus . ”
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 .
You have acquired the special skill: (A) Domain of Light .
Illuminus has become complete and purged a contaminant from the arm . You have obtained Orichalcum .
For the record, Illuminus’ Power of Rebirth can only be used once . Illuminus shall be the one responsible for activating this ability at the moment it deems suitable .
The mineral which was once used to repair Illuminus was ejected and flew into Sila’s system window . The current appearance of Illuminus was supposed to be its original form if Sila didn’t select an energy type incompatible with it .
Sila looked at his new right arm . He had lost the Seal skill, so he had no way to disable his right arm’s ability . As Illuminus had fused with his original right arm, it made him incapable of inflicting damage using it . This wasn’t the result he desired . Thus, he mimicked Dark Self and proceeded with what he previously planned .
“Way of Slime . ”
Sila activated the skill and recalled the scene when Dark Self fused the Crystal Divine Sword with Illuminus so it could deal damage . Similarly, Sila would change the Crystal Demonic Sword to achieve the same effect .
The black sword distorted and became a slime-like substance shrouded around Illuminus . Then, it shrunk and ultimately split into two long, black gloves which shone like diamonds . Their beauty was comparable to the crystal shards that were Dark Self’s claws .
“See? I’m a fast learner . You used my sword to produce claws, so I will be using your sword as my gloves,” Sila talked to himself, though he knew that Dark Self would always hear his words .
The reason why Sila changed the Crystal Demonic Sword into gloves was that he felt uncomfortable with claws, unlike Dark Self who showed his aggressive side through the claws .
Although they both used the same skill, the results were different . It represented the different approaches between Sila and Dark Self .
Sila hastened his speed and finally met up with Mamon and Rex . The two of them seemed surprised that Sila came back sooner than they had expected .
Sila didn’t want to waste time . He quickly opened his system window and continued his conversation with Julia .
“Julia, the symbol that I must leave behind can be anything, right?”
Julia replied, “Yes, Master . However, you can’t hide it . It must be something that is clear and unique; it should be obvious upon first glance that it’s a symbolic object . Its size also can’t be too small . For the record, its durability doesn’t matter, though I recommend you use an object that is hard to break, because the pact will end when the symbol is destroyed . ”
“What about that big boulder?” Sila pointed his finger at a certain boulder nearby . Everyone moved their gazes to see it and discovered a boulder that was ten meters tall .
“The boulder is too common, Master . At the very least, you need to engrave some symbol on it to make it stand out . ”
Sile jumped to the boulder . With Dark Self’s acknowledgment in himself, Sila was more at ease controlling Dark Psychic Corrosion . Psychic power was different from qi . To utilize psychic power, one needed a firm image in their head rather than qi’s steadfast circulation . Both powers had their own strengths, weaknesses, and usage difficulties . For psychic power, Sila needed to imagine a clear picture in his mind and let the black mist corrode the boulder, shaping it with his imagination .
“Is this fine?” asked Sila .
Once the black mist dispersed, everyone witnessed a slime-shaped boulder . If someone who had seen the slime rock in the Town of Beginnings were to see it, they would think that the rock had returned . That was because Sila copied the boulder’s appearance from the Town of Beginnings .
“It’s fine, Master . However, I personally think that the boulder will be too easy to break . ”
“Don’t worry . ”
Sila sat on the slime-shaped boulder and closed his eyes, focusing . He covered himself with Divine Raiment before extending the aura to envelop the boulder as well . Once it was done, he jumped down and observed the slime rock which was covered with a defensive aura .
“Phew . . . It won’t be as good as Miss Viola’s, but if its power is about to run out, Rex can call me to strengthen its defense again . How about it?”
Sila’s expression showed some exhaustion . Divine Raiment was a magic-type skill, which was the energy type Sila was the least proficient at using . Therefore, he felt more tired than using qi or psychic type skills .
Julia replied, “It’s fine, Master . Now, you need to recite these words to initiate the pact and let the monster accept your words . ”
Sila’s system window displayed the instructions to initialize the Monster Follower pact . The sentences he had to say aloud even included his newly acquired title–one which he just noticed . Sila called Rex to stand in front of the slime rock . Both of them placed their hands on it .
“I Sila, the Monster Emperor, shall form a Monster Follower pact with you, Rex, the King of the Single-Horned Dragon Forest . The two of us shall be equal . Will you accept?”
Rex immediately replied, “I accept . ”
You have successfully formed a Monster Follower Pact with Rex, Level 6 Lord Rank .
Sila didn’t notice any change, and it seemed Rex didn’t either . Nevertheless, Julia informed them that the pact was properly completed .
Sila told Rex, “About qi, I will put it on hold for now . Please let me take care of a problem in Grea City first . If I still haven’t called you to me in the next three days, you can try calling me instead, Rex . ”
Rex agreed to wait . Then, Sila sealed Mamon in his armor as Mamon said he was too lazy to walk . Finally, he ran back to the Royal Armament Guild’s temporary camp .
Sila had an easy time running through the forest at dawn because his eyes could see things clearly . As he was running, he also constantly recovered his strength . Although the recovery rate was slow, it was steady .
Sila arrived at the camp at four in the morning . He didn’t want to encounter people so he sneakily entered his own tent without letting others know about his return . Since his strength was superior to the guards in the temporary camp, it was an easy task for him to slip in .
Sila’s current strength was far from fully recovered . It wouldn’t be enough for a big fight waiting for him, so he calmly sat down on a mat and carefully recovered his strength . In a place where he could be interrupted anytime, instead of using Forest God’s Body, Sila chose to normally circulate qi .
As he cultivated, Sila also imagined how he should use his psychic power . It might play a big role in the fight against the materialized Infernee .
Five-Attributed Cloud Qi circulated throughout his body . Sila’s breathing was calm and harmonious . His mind was clear as two black orbs made of psychic power freely hovered around his hands .
Sila wasn’t in a hurry; he knew being too hasty could lead to disaster, especially for psychic power which relied more on emotion rather than the body .
Everything was almost ready . Tomorrow at noon, Bluebird and he would end the problem in Grea City before his comrades caused trouble in the Single-Horned Dragon Forest .
Even though an important battle awaited him, as Sila was alone, he was surprisingly calm . The matters about the association, Infernee’s power, or even Bluebird’s grumbles from a faraway tent couldn’t affect his confidence at all .
Tomorrow, he would take Grea City back .
(S) Crystal Demonic Sword [Sila]
The sword produced by Player Sila with help from the reward from the Valley of Immortals . It represents the wielder’s mind . It possesses the ability to devour dark energies such as poisons, curses, illusions, or negative emotions . Once the wielder clads it with energy reinforcement, it will absorb light and generate darkness . Increases the damage done by wielder’s psychic power .
When being wielded, the Crystal Demonic Sword will constantly consume the wielder’s health points .
Special Skill: (A) Domain of Light
A psychic-type skill . Creates a powerful defensive domain using psychic power . The domain will consume the user’s magic points in order to maintain it . The domain’s size, durability, and duration are dependent on the user’s state of mind .