The Devil's Cage Chapter 104


Chapter 104: Entering The Third Dungeon

[Mystical Knowledge (Master Pro), costs 10,000 Points and 8 Skill Points, Yes/No?]

Although the price was a little higher than expected, that was not why Kierans jaw had dropped.

The reason was the prerequisites.

[Prerequisites: Alchemy (Basic), Potionology1 (Basic), Astrology (Basic), Research of Mystical Beings (Basic)]

To Kierans surprise, there were four prerequisite skills for upgrading [Mystical Knowledge] from Master to Pro.

Kieran believed this was just the beginning of the skill.

If that was the case though, then what would the prerequisites be if he wanted to upgrade from Pro to Grand Master?

"Is this some sort of joke?"

Kieran rubbed his temples in an effort to ease his headache.

Before this sudden revelation, he had carefully planned to upgrade [Mystical Knowledge] to Grand Master. He had even allocated his Points and Skill Points accordingly so he could do it. Reality had hit him hard though, making him realize how naive he had been.

He could certainly not upgrade to Grand Master. Even upgrading to Pro would be too much trouble for him.

Unless he could get his hands on the prerequisite skills.

In the meantime though, upgrading the skill to Master Level was all he could afford.

[Name: Mystical Knowledge (Master)]

[Related Attributes: None]

[Skill Type: Ancillary]

[Effects: You have already mastered reading about Alchemy, Potionology , Astrology, and Mystical Beings!]

[Special Effects: Master of Symbols and Runes (You will always grasp the meaning of unknown symbols and runes)]

[Consumes: None]

[Prerequisites: None]

[Remarks: You can read about common Alchemy, Potionology , Astrology and Mystical Beings, but you have not mastered the true essence of the skill yet!]

..

As the synchronization process transferred even more complicated knowledge into his mind, Kieran thought about the Grand Demonic Heptagram in Gilfren Hatchs room. He had not gotten a satisfying answer about that yet.

The scorpion-like symbol and the changes on those three runes were still a mystery to him, even with his Master Level [Mystical Knowledge].

"It required a higher skill than Master?" Kieran thought.

He felt his head hurt once more as he thought about the four prerequisites. He was not ready to give up yet, though.

..

2567: Is there anything related to Alchemy, Potionology , Astrology and Mystical Beings?

Lawless: Are you sure you wanna go there?

2567: Why?

Lawless: Alchemy and Potionology are considered hot cakes among the players. Each of them is priced at around 30,000 Points and 10 Skill Points. Anything higher than that is a waste of money! Only team players and guilds can afford them, though. Lone wolves like us should not even think about it. As for Astrology and Research of Mystical Beings... Neither of them are on the market yet. Maybe Broker might have some...

...

Lawlesss reply made Kieran sigh even heavier.

He had already suspected the skills might be expensive when Lawless had answered in surprise, but he was still in shock over the actual price of Alchemy and Potionology .

30,000 Points and 10 Skill Points. If he bought both, all his earnings would be gone. Plus, those two were only half of the prerequisites. Lawless had known nothing about the other half.

Kieran rubbed his temples unconsciously again.

He needed to divert his attention to something else, otherwise he might get sucked into the endless whirlpool of thinking about how many dungeons it would take to upgrade [Mystical Knowledge]. That was a scary place for Kierans mind to be in.

[Points: 43,690; Skill Points: 6; Golden Skill Points: 1; Golden Attribute Points:1]

He quickly scanned over his remaining points and brought up the next skills on his upgrading list.

It was [Evading], [Undercover] and [Firearm Weapon (Light Firearm)], with [Evading] at the top of the list.

[Evading] could work well against melee attacks in combination with [Hand-to-hand Combat].

As for [Undercover] and [Firearm Weapon (Light Firearm)]?

[Undercover] was an inconspicuous skill, but not something to be overlooked as it could come in handy in some situations.

As his number of dungeon entries increased, [Firearm Weapon (Light Firearm)] could become useless further down the road. The addition of the [Blessed Bullets] had showed Kieran that it was not that simple to neglect it, though.

"Ill need 20,000 Points and 12 Skill Points for leveling up both skills to Grand Master. Given the exchange rate of 3,000 Points to 1 Skill Point, my remaining points should be enough for me to level them all up to Grand Master and still have a balance of 5,690 left!"

Kieran came up with a backup plan as he did all the calculations.

He did not make a move immediately, though. He needed to get prepared first.

How could he maximize the power of [Hand-to-Hand Combat, Grand Master of Kicks]?

With a decent pair of boots, of course. He had not come across any decent ones at the secret bazaar, though, and the next bazaar would not be for another month.

His only option was to contact Lawless.

...

2567: Are there any boots with attack stats?

Lawless: Of course! Theres quite a number of players who choose to master kicking. Some of them might have some leftover equipment. What do you need?

2567: Highest rarity possible and strong attack. Extra attributes are a priority.

Lawless: It might not come cheap, though!

2567: I have a 5,000-point limit, but Ill throw in something else.

(Kieran screenshotted the [Lockpicking] tools and sent the picture over. Lawless replied immediately.)

Lawless: Ooooh, some people might really like this. You can definitely get a good price if you find the right person!

Lawless: Just leave it to me! Ill get back to you by tomorrow morning at the latest.

Lawless: If you need anything else, just rub the lamp gently and your genie will be at your service 24/7! Please use silk or satin when rubbing the lamp, though. I have a prestigious reputation after all!

2567: ...

(Kieran was left speechless by Lawless lousy joke. There were still some things he needed to ask, though.)

2567: What about [Blessed Bullets]? Where can I get some?

Lawless: 400 Points a round. You have to preorder them from players who make them, so youll need to tip them if its urgent!

Lawless: How many do you want?

2567: Not now.

...

Lawless words made Kieran realize once again how generous Starbeck had been.

400 Points per round, yet Starbeck had given him two magazines, which equaled a total of 14 rounds.

Those bullets had been worth 5,600 Points!

Given his financial status after covering all his basic expenses, Kieran could not even afford two rounds of [Blessed Bullets].

He could do nothing about it, so he just shrugged. He was a little jealous of Starbeck, but he mostly just felt grateful for his help.

Life was not fair after all. Getting orphaned at a young age had taught Kieran the meaning of that saying.

Fortunately, he still had a chance to change things.

Kieran took a deep breath, and went back to practising [Knights of Dawn Body Tempering Arts].

He needed to make his time there count, because the maximum dungeon clearing time was not an option for him.

..

The next morning, Lawless was punctual about providing him with information.

[Name: Iron Flaming Boots]

[Type: Heavy Boots]

[Rarity: Great]

[Attack: Weak]

[Defense: Common]

[Attributes: Second Grade Fire Enhancement]

[Effects: Master of Kicks]

[Prerequisites: None]

[Remarks: Its creator had originally been making a different type of boots, but obviously they failed! Sometimes failure does not mean game over, though!]

...

Second Grade Fire Enhancement: Triggers 1-2 Fire Damage every time you attack with a kick.]

...

It was a pair of iron boots embedded with a cracked ruby.

The boots were painted with a blackish paint on the outside, and soft leather was covering the inside. The embedded jewel was on the tip of the boots, covered in layers of unspecified leather. It seemed like man-made leather, or something similar.

"Theyre fireproof and able to provide you with better undercover effects," was all Lawless commented.

The final price for them was 2,000 Points plus the [Lockpicking Tools], a total of 3,000 Points and 1 Skill Point.

A reasonable price within Kierans means. The boots were definitely worth their price.

After Kieran accepted the deal, Lawless helped him exchange Points for Skill Points.

When everything was ready, Kieran started his second round of upgrading.

[Name: Evading (Grand Master)]

[Related Attributes: Agility]

[Skill Type: Ancillary]

[Effects: Better use of Evading during combat, Increases Evading by 50%]

[Special Effects: Grand Master of Swift Steps (Your nimble steps make your body more flexible, Increases Evading by 30%)]

[Consumes: Stamina]

[Prerequisites: Agility E+]

[Remarks: You can use side and front rolls to evade your enemies attacks!]

...

[Evading leveled up, Related attributes increasing]

[Agility has reached the capped limit for the current skill level, Unable to upgrade any further.]

...

[Name: Undercover (Grand Master)]

[Related Attributes: Agility]

[Skill Type: Ancillary]

[Effects: Even better use of the shadows, Your presence is kept secret from your enemies, Increases Hiding by 50%]

[Special Effects: Grand Master of Shadows (You are better at hiding in the shadows, Increases Hiding by 30%]

[Consumes: Stamina]

[Prerequisites: Agility E+]

[Remarks: You are good at hiding in the shadows, so youre able to hide from most eyes.]

...

[Undercover leveled up, Related attributes increasing]

[Agility has reached the capped limit for the current skill level, Unable to upgrade any further.]

...

[Name: Firearm Weapon (Light Firearm) (Grand Master)]

[Related Attributes: Strength, Agility, Intuition]

[Skill Type: Offensive]

[Effects: Even better use of handguns, rifles, revolvers, assault rifles, submachine guns and sniper rifles, Increases Damage by 50%]

[Special Effects: Lock On Grand Master (When you aim at your target, you activate an Intuition +3 Rank Effect]

[Consumes: Stamina]

[Prerequisites: Strength E, Agility E, Intuition E]

[Remarks: Your target will feel true fear under your scope!]

...

[Firearm Weapon (Light Firearm) leveled up, Related attributes increasing..]

[Strength has reached the capped limit for the current skill level, Unable to upgrade any further.]

[Agility has reached the capped limit for the current skill level, Unable to upgrade any further.]

[Intuition has reached the capped limit for the current skill level, Unable to upgrade any further.]

...

The synchronization process was initiated once again, the familiar warm stream flowing into Kieran and spreading throughout his whole body.

As time passed, everything returned to normal. Taking a deep breath, Kieran scanned the notifications. The familiar matter of the capped attributes was troubling him once again.

Kieran had anticipated this though, so he got over it quickly and started to get used to the changes.

After his experience with the [Knights of Dawn Body Tempering Art], Kieran thought that it would be best for him to actively familiarize himself with his skills through practice rather than wait for the skills to synchronize with his mind.

He was determined to spend the week of the cooldown practising his skills.

Other than logging out and rejecting Lawless countless invitations to go out for a beer, he kept himself submersed in training all his skills and exercising the [Knights of Dawn Body Tempering Art].

Of course Kieran had also checked out what the next level was. After Grand Master came Musou2.

As expected, the requirements for that went up exponentially.

To upgrade Grand Master to Musou, [Hand-to-Hand Combat] cost 20,000 Points and 12 Skill Points, [Firearm Weapon (Light Firearm)] cost 15,000 Points and 10 Skill Points, and [Evading] and [Undercover] cost 18,000 Points and 10 Skill Points respectively.

The requirement for [Tracking] was only higher by 1 Point. It was 30,000 Points and 1 Golden Skill Point. Thats right, 1 Golden Skill Point!

After looking quickly at the upgrading cost for all his skills, Kieran started training even harder, submersing himself even deeper into practising.

He knew that the rewards from the dungeons were no longer able to cover his upgrading expenses.

Despite all his hard work though, the results were still depressing.

Despite the [Knights of Dawn Body Tempering Art]s first big discount in Points, his continuous training and practise only lowered the cost by a couple of points every time. The same also applied to the other skills.

That made Kieran understand that the one-time Point discount had been a special condition of the [Knights of Dawn Body Tempering Art].

He instinctively tried to get himself back to that condition, but nothing happened.

His continuous failure did not break Kieran, though. He was not willing to give up yet. Instead, he kept trying to figure out what had gone wrong, and he started to practise again.

He failed, practiced, and thought over again and over again

Time flew by as Kieran lived in his own experimenting training loop.

Before he knew it, the cooldown for the single player dungeon had been reset.

Translator Note

1 Potionology: Study of potions and magical medicine

2 Musou: Unparalleled, without equal.