Kieran performed a backflip in mid-air and landed on his feet.
He didnt regain his balance fast enough though, so after staggering for a couple of steps, he fell down on his knees.
The excruciating pain in his abdomen made him pant, but compared to that pain, he was more concerned about the condition of his eyes.
Countless overlapping shadows filled his vision, making it blurry.
Fortunately, after 15 seconds, everything returned to normal.
Kieran let out a long breath of relief.
Although returning to the game lobby would repair and heal any kind of wound, including physical disability, the cost was insanely high.
Most importantly, if Kieran somehow lost his sight, it would be difficult for him to progress any further in the current dungeon world.
This single advantage would lead to big progress.
On the contrary, a single setback would lead to a huge fallback.
Kieran was in the lead, and he wanted to remain there. That principle had already been branded on his soul inside the underground game.
"Are you okay?" Schmidt ran over and tried to help him up.
"Im fine..." Kieran shook his head and clenched his teeth hard. As he stood up, he felt excruciating pain in his abdomen. It felt as if he was being cut open.
Kieran was not concerned about his injuries though. He just stared silently at the meteor crater.
"I dont even have the qualifications to participate?" he muttered.
He was certain that the profound feeling he felt was coming from that unknown stone gate.
Even though Kieran had guessed that Nikorei had united the five major societies to face that "thing", he had never thought that he would not be able to push open the gate that led to it.
To be precise, he could not even get near the gate. Kieran felt dejected. He was someone who looked peaceful and harmonious on the outside, but was really proud on the inside.
Although he had kept up his guard, ever since he had acquired [Fusion Heart], he had somehow neglected his own abilities because hed thought that [Devil Transformation] and [Desire Summoning] would help him run rampant in all upcoming dungeons.
The battle with the East Coast mystics had confirmed his theory, but the scene before him had slapped him hard across the face.
"I dont even have the qualifications to enter. What else do I have to do in order for me to run rampant in future dungeons?" Kieran mocked himself with a cold laugh before quickly stopping.
He looked at the meteor crater and said solemnly, "Wait for me! Next time The next time"
His voice lowered as he spoke. Even Schmidt could not hear what he was saying anymore. When he stopped muttering, he turned around right away.
"What happened?" Schmidt asked, looking at his friend in confusion.
"Lets get back to the West Coast. I have something to deal with!" Kieran sped up as he spoke, as if he was very eager to get back.
The others didnt object.
After performing that meteor spell, Charles was completely exhausted. Although his heart and spirit wanted to keep investigating, his flesh was weak.
Raul and Cidney, who were there to search for their friend Rukie, realized the grim possibilities after listening to Kierans statement.
Schmidt had no reason to be there. He was just their friend after all.
Charles was lying down on the bed in the limo, his hand holding on to his favorite pipe, although it was not loaded with tobacco.
The alchemy master was aware of his own condition. If he wanted to recover quickly, he would have to quit smoking for at least a month. This was not what had caused his headache though. That spell he had cast had used up all his ingredients. He had spent three years of his life collecting those ingredients, some of which were very rare materials.Who knew how long it would take for Charles to gather all those items again?
This was not a big deal compared to what had happened to Kieran though. Charles was staring at him meticulously as he practised alchemy.
Kieran had been practising ever since he had stepped into the trailer three days ago. He was quiet all the time, and other than eating and sleeping, he was completely focused on practising, to the point that he looked like a robot.
Charles frowned. He had no idea that something like this could happen. If he had known, he would not have let Kieran investigate. He knew how hard of an impact such a thing could have on a young man with such powerful abilities. Even the slightest misstep could result in
Once the thought bloomed in Charles mind, he felt the need to talk to Kieran about this again.
Charles coughed lightly, trying to figure out how to approach the topic. He was really bad at such strict, serious talks. His humorous personality was not fit for them.
It was very hard for him, but he had no choice but to brace himself and do it. A young mans bright future was at stake after all.
"You know, a single failure means nothing for a young man Failing is necessary in order for one to grow and make progress. I have experienced countless failures myself, just like you. Back in the day, I took me almost four weeks just to understand the simplest thing"
Just as Charles was about to steer the conversation back to the incident that had happened three days ago, he was interrupted by Kieran.
"Master, Ive done it!" Kieran said happily.
"Yes, yes, I know. It doesnt matter if you fail- What? What did you say?"
Charles started to answer out of instinct before he realized what Kieran had said. He forced himself to sit up, even though his body was still weak. When he looked at the hard pelt that Kieran had handed him, his eyes widened.
"Youve done it Youve really done it! Eight days- No, a week! It took you a week to master it!" Charles mumbled, holding back what he really wanted to say.
Charles himself had spent four weeks searching for the key point, and it had taken him another four weeks to complete the basic experiment, yet Kieran had succeeded in just a week!
Charles had only seen one gifted person like this before, and it had been Nikorei. He unconsciously thought of the answer Kieran had given him when theyd first met.
"What do you think alchemy is?"
"Alchemy is used to create gold, cure-all potions and immortality pills. This is what I think of alchemy!"
The answer echoed in Charles ears. Before this, he had never really thought about it, although this didnt mean that he had treated it as a joke. On the contrary, he had admired Kieran for giving such an answer. This was the reason he had decided to teach him about alchemy.
Now he started thinking about it seriously though. A lot of people could give such an answer, but if a gifted individual gave an answer like that
"Is this a blessing of yours, teacher?" Charles wondered in his mind.
He had forgotten what he had wanted to say. A burning thought bloomed like a spring flower in his mind.
Kieran didnt notice the changes on Charles face. He was too busy looking at the system notification that had popped up.
[You have successfully completed an Alchemy Pledge, Your Alchemy Experience has grown significantly]
[Your Alchemy Basic Experience has reached its limit]
[Mastered Skill: Alchemy (Basic)]
[Name: Alchemy (Basic)]
[Related Attributes: None]
[Skill Type: Ancillary]
[Effects: You can create some special items by using certain ingredients]
[Remarks: You are just an apprentice. Dont attempt to poke your nose in knowledge you are not ready for!]
[Notes: You have acquired this skill through learning, not through a Skill Book. Therefore, you cannot upgrade it with Points or Skill Points. If you want to level it up, you will need to continue learning or acquire a Skill Book!]
"[Research of Mystical Beings], [Potionology], [Astrology] and [Alchemy] are completed! I can finally upgrade [Mystical Knowledge]!"
Kieran drew in a deep breath. He had been waiting for this moment for a long time.
Even though only a short time had passed in real life, he felt like it had been years.
Before Kieran could plan his upgrading process carefully though, he felt Charles looking at him with anticipation.
"Whats wrong, master? Anything wrong with my work?" he asked in confusion.
"No, no, everything's fine! Its just that"
Charles shook his head quickly in embarrassment before he finally continued, "Would you like to learn about alchemy from me? I know you will surely surpass my power someday with Reis guidance, but I was hoping that you could learn by my side until Rei comes back!"
"Learn alchemy from you?" Kieran was shocked. This was not the first time something like this had happened.
Charles was overwhelmed by his gifts, just like the old Guardian Knight had been.
Kieran couldnt understand what was so special about his gifts. Even though he had learned everything himself, the system had also been there to help him. Otherwise, he would never have been able to master a skill within such a short period of time.
Of course, he couldnt explain this to the natives.
After some thought, Kieran asked in a careful, probing manner, "Can you teach me how to summon meteors?"
"Of course!" Charles answered immediately.