The Devil's Cage Chapter 36

Chapter 36: Upgrade (Part 1)

What was the thing Kieran wanted the most?


No question about it.

If he had enough time, he would be able to become stronger in the game, gain more equipment and earn more points, and exchange them both for money.

Therefore, to Kieran, time was money.

Kieran kept that word close to his heart. Money could not buy time, but it could buy everything else. Be it medicine or food, or just plain getting by, money was necessary.

Being an orphan from a young age, Kieran had a deeper understanding of this than others.

For the past three years, his three meals a day had been the same fast food. When it came to the importance of money, Kieran had sacrificed taste for his soul.

Compared to the [Basic Medicine Crafting Platform Blueprint], he favored the [Single Player Dungeon Cooldown Reset Card] more.

He would not reveal his true intentions during the trade, though.

He did not reply immediately. Instead, he waited a while.


2567: Its still not enough. The [Single Player Dungeon Cooldown Reset Card] has no value.

Lawless: Ill throw in another 2,000 points and 1 skill point! I cant do anything better, though. If you want more, Ill just get one another way.


Lawless was not offering any more items?

Kieran saw the price that Lawless was offering and did not bother with the last part of the message.

If Lawless could figure out another way to get a rocket launcher, then he would not have been negotiating with Kieran in the first place.

Either he could not come up with a better solution, or all other solutions were too costly.

After Kieran calculated his loss and profit, he made an offer again.


2567: 5,000 Points, 3 Skill Points!

Lawless: 2,500 Points, 1 Skill Point! Nothing more!


Kierans offered price had gotten under Lawless skin. It was not enough to scare him off. It made him want to give up, but at the same time he felt pity.

It was not a smart move.

Lawless had already offered his original price.

He had at least 6,000 Points and 2 Skill Points at his disposal, or at least that was what he could mobilized for his points.

As for the two items, the [Single Player Dungeon Cooldown Reset Card] and the [Basic Medicine Crafting Platform Blueprint], if he was offering them, then that meant that he didnt need them either. They were dispensable.

The trades fate had been sealed right from the beginning.

In the end, Lawless closed the deal, offering 4,000 Points and 2 Skill Points, plus the [Single Player Dungeon Cooldown Reset Card] and the [Basic Medicine Crafting Platform Blueprint], for the [Tekken-II] rocket launcher.

After the trade was done, Lawless said see u around and disconnected abruptly.

When Kieran tried to contact Lawless again, the system displayed a Currently in the dungeon, Unable to contact message.

Kieran could not help but shrug. He had wanted to get more information about the game from him.

He was not unhappy, though. They had just made a business deal after all. Theyd never had a connection or a relationship to begin with, and neither of them owed the other any favours.

After the trade had been completed, they both went their separate ways.

Of course, Kieran would not have minded waiting for Lawless to come out of the dungeon and contact him again. He wanted to make another deal with him in exchange for valuable information, even though Lawless had claimed that he didnt have any valuable information at the time.

Kieran needed more basic information, and Lawless attitude towards information was good news. It usually meant a more affordable price.

Good and cheap. Nobody would pass that up.

Kieran grinned a little as he checked his earnings from the trade.

The [Single Player Dungeon Cooldown Reset Card] was simple. There was nothing much to it, it was just ready to be used.

However, Kieran needed to study the [Basic Medicine Crafting Platform Blueprint] carefully before learning the skill.

Especially when he noticed the system notification informing him about its cost.

[Pay 8,000 Points to use the (Basic Medicine Crafting Platform). Yes/No?]

[Prerequisite not met, Unable to create.]

8,000 Points!?

Kieran took several deep breaths to calm himself down.

Although he had been expecting a cost for the [Basic Medicine Crafting Platform], the price still shocked him when he read it.

[Points: 17,000; Skill Points: 10; Golden Skill Points: 1; Golden Attribute Points: 1]

He looked at his points and skill points and calculated carefully.

If he wanted to use the [Basic Medicine Crafting Platform], he would need to level up his [Medical and Medicinal Knowledge] from Basic to Master. Including the material crafting costs, it would cost him 9,200 points and 1 skill point. That was more than half of his current points.

He also wasnt sure about the crafting process either.

If the crafting cost exceeded the selling price among the players, then it would not be worth it.

Yet Kieran did not change his original plan.

While hed negotiated with Lawless, hed planned on using the [Basic Medicine Crafting Platform]. If the deal had not been made, then he would have waited for the guild war to heat up even further and sold the [Tekken-II] at a higher price.

Kieran was well aware of the importance of medicine inside the game.

Especially when the game [Shop] was only selling basic healing supplies.

Because the blueprint was tagged as Basic, it was possible for it to be upgraded. Once he could craft out higher quality medicine than the [Shop], he could make huge profits off it.

Provided that he had the [Basic Medicine Crafting Platform].

Kieran did not mind the long-term investment if it came with a huge compensation.

Especially when there was such a thing as the [Single Player Dungeon Cooldown Reset Card]. Kieran was confident that he could very well speed up the long-term investment.

He was not going to use the platform blindly though.

While creating high-level medicine and earning more profit was the goal, Kieran knew his own strength.

If he decided to use the [Basic Medicine Crafting Platform] instead of upgrading his own skills and attributes, it would be like killing the hen in favor of the eggs.

His goal was to get stronger and more powerful to get more equipment and higher-point rewards.

He needed to get his priorities straight.

Kieran knew this very well.

If it had been an [Intermediate Medicine Crafting Platform], he would have invested all his resources to use it and seize the business opportunity.

But it was just the basic one and it would cost Kieran more than half his points. Kieran chose to upgrade himself first, which would cost a large sum as well.

[Sharp Weapon (Dagger) (Basic Entry). Pay 200 Points to upgrade. Yes/No?]

[Evading (Basic Entry). Pay 200 Points to upgrade. Yes/No?]

[Hand-to-hand Combat (Basic Entry). Pay 200 Points to upgrade. Yes/No?]

[Medical Treatment (Basic Entry). Pay 200 Points to upgrade. Yes/No?]

[Medical and Medicinal Knowledge (Basic Entry). Pay 200 Points to upgrade. Yes/No?]

[Tracking (Basic Entry). Pay 800 Points to upgrade. Yes/No?]

Six skills went from Basic to Entry level, costing a total of 1,800 points, [Tracking] taking up half of it.

Kieran pressed [Yes] to all.

The knowledge was transferred into Kierans body and synced with his brain.

[Sharp Weapon], [Evading,] [Hand-to-hand Combat] and [Medical Treatment] were all upgraded to Entry level, but other than the strengthened skills, they did not affect Kierans attributes.

All the skills displayed a [Capped for this specific skill at current level, Unable to level up further] notification.

It did not surprise Kieran at all.

When his [Firearm (Light Firearm)] had leveled up to Entry level, his [Intuition] attribute had been capped as well, so hed had a feeling that the other skills would be as well.

What had been unexpected was his [Tracking] skill, which had leveled up and increased his [Intuition].

[Tracking (Basic Entry)]

[Name: Tracking (Entry)]

[Related Attributes: Intuition]

[Skill Type: Ancillary]

[Effects: You can follow all kinds of tracks and trails to track down your target!]

[Consumes: Stamina]

[Prerequisites: Intuition F+]

[Remarks: Your overall senses are as good as a hunting dogs.]


[Tracking level increased, Related attributes increased]

[Intuition: F+ E-]

[Tracking] leveling up to Entry can boost my [Intuition]? Is it because of the skill book, or is it because of the special effect of the skill?

Kieran would prefer the latter, but he lacked any information to support his guess.

Although he had run into some bumps along the way, that had not stopped him from leveling up his skills.

In order to take a better look at them, Kieran listed all his skills next to the leveling cost from Entry level to Master level.

[Sharp Weapon (Dagger)] 1,000 Points, 1 Skill Point.

[Firearm (Light Firearm)] 1,000 Points, 1 Skill Point.

[Evading] 1,500 Points, 1 Skill Point.

[Undercover] 1,500 Points, 1 Skill Point.

[Hand-to-hand Combat] 1,500 Points, 1 Skill Point.

[Medical Treatment] 500 Points, 1 Skill Points.

[Medical and Medicinal Knowledge] 1,000 Points, 1 Skill Point.

[Tracking] 3,000 Points, 2 Skill Points.

A total of 11,000 Points and 9 Skill Points.

Among the skills, [Tracking] was the most expensive, costing about two skills to reach the Master level.

[Medical Treatment] was the cheapest, costing only half of what the others costed.

Kieran looked at the eight skills he had, and carefully thought about which ones he wanted to upgrade next.

His most familiar fighting style was a combination of [Sharp Weapon (Dagger)] and [Undercover], more like an assassins style. There was also the sniper style, which was a combination of [Firearm (Light Firearm)] plus [Evading].

Those four skills no doubt needed to be upgraded to Master level.

He planned to upgrade [Hand-to-hand] combat as well, because he could not assure himself that he would not get stuck in a situation without any weapons to fight back.

[Tracking] was a no brainer. Its special effects were useful in any kind of situation.

[Medical and Medicinal Knowledge] was the prerequisite for [Basic Medicine Crafting Platform], so it definitely needed to be leveled up.

As for [Medical Treatment]?

Unless Kieran could avoid getting injured, it would be best to upgrade it to a certain reasonable level.

After an overview of his skills, he realized that everything needed to be upgraded.

Instead of focusing on a single skill and leveling it up to the max, Kieran was more keen on maintaining a balanced build. After all, determining whether one was strong or not was not about ones strong points, but their weakest.

If he had a focused build, it would be easier for enemies to pin him down.

That was why Kieran preferred a balanced build.

If every skill were to be leveled up to Master, it would cost him a great sum.

Kieran could not help but frown.

He quickly lightened up again when he realized something.