A Monster Who Levels Up - chapter-6
A week after the unexpected meeting with Kim Yu-Rin.
First, from the fang she gave to him as a present, Sae-Jin was able to
create 4 batches of potions. One potion for strengthening the
constitution of its drinker, and the other three, healing and
regenerative effects. Heâ€™d stashed the former for himself when he went
out on a hunt, but the rest, he decided to sell them off.
He was already getting fed up with this living-in-a-cave lifestyle, plus
with the Energy Manipulation Stat now at 8, which made it possible to
maintain the Human Form for at least 80 minutes every day, Sae-Jin
decided it was high time he bought a house near the Gangwon Province. Of
course, as expected of a place called the “Paradise for the
Monster-related industry”, the exorbitant land price here was second only
to the capital city, Seoul, ensuring that even if he started working to
his bones starting now, itâ€™d still take a long, long while before he
could afford one. (Lit said “A Mecca for the Monster-related industry.
Changed for obvious reasons.)
Whatever the case may have been, currently Sae-Jin was standing in front
of a building called an “Alchemy House” that reeked of a bitter aroma of
the herbs and was filled with the bubbling sounds of chemicals boiling in
While there were less than three Alchemy Houses existing in any given
large metropolis, these exceedingly rare organizations were the only
place where the administration of the verification process, which
assigned the grades as well as handled the distribution of the potions
created by the alchemists, could be done. But, even though it was true
they were hard to find, for someone like Sae-Jin who literally lived
inside the borders of Gangwon Province, seeking out one of these
so-called homes of an alchemist proved to be rather simple, with their
continued survival intrinsically linked to that of the Monstersâ€™
existences. (Had to change quite a lot in this paragraph. This author
sure loves to torment me with indecipherable Spaghetti soup of wordsâ€¦)
Even though he wore the robe supposedly favoured by alchemists, and had
the hood pulled right up to match the outer appearance, Sae-Jinâ€™s
actions of curiously surveying the surroundings easily revealed his
status as a complete noob at these sort of things.
“Is there something I can assist you with, perhaps?”
An employee came in closer and politely inquired after noticing him
“â€¦Iâ€™m here to sell some potions Iâ€™ve created. But I havenâ€™t sold
one before, nor have I any prior fame. Is it still possible?” (ى „ë ¥lit.
battle records. I mean, wut)
“Ah, yes, of course. Would you follow me this way, please?”
Didnâ€™t matter what territory or nation, the number of alchemists were
always much lower than that of magicians, and consequently, they were
treated as one of the most valuable human resources out there. And, even
though there was this whiff of a newbie coming off of Sae-Jin, his word
and posture were undoubtedly that of a real alchemist, so the male
employee made sure to remain courteous while guiding him.
Sae-Jin promptly found and sat down on a nearest office chair, and
nervously waited as he kept an eye on the watch but soon enough, the male
employee sat on the opposite side with a document of some kind.
“This is the application form. The verification process will commence
after you write down the name of the potion and its effects here. When
the productâ€™s been verified to be free of any side effects and its
medicinal efficacy ascertained, a grade will be assigned according to its
medicinal strengths, and afterwards, the potion can be sold on the m
Potions brewed by the skilled hands of alchemists enjoyed a far greater
demand than the supply could ever meet. Those commonly available
â€™emergency potionsâ€™ sold in Monster Stores, mass manufactured with
10th grade Mana Stones, couldnâ€™t even begin to compare in performance
and overall quality.
And the popularity enjoyed by the potions brewed by a well-known
alchemist was such that potential buyers had to reserve their share very
much in advance in order to purchase one.
Strangely enough, it wasnâ€™t the alchemistâ€™s name that garnered the
attention, but the potions themselves instead. It was because, alchemists
loved anonymity and believed hiding oneâ€™s true identity from the public
was a matter of professional virtue, so the only avenue available to
truly flaunt their abilities was through their potioncraft.
It was a given, then, the alchemists painstakingly chose suitable names
for their creations and didnâ€™t hesitate to pour every fibre of their
beings and every ounce of their talents into bettering the potions they
Of course, the rumour on the street was, that for those famed alchemists
who had already achieved great acclaim and were well known throughout the
world, they could afford to just deal directly with the Masters of the
Knights Orders and the CEOs of the corporate worlds.
“If you wish to keep your identity hidden, please check that box labeled
Anonymous over here.”
Sae-Jin unhurriedly jotted the words down on the application form. For
the potionâ€™s effectsâ€¦. healing and regeneration.
All of a sudden, the body of the male employee trembled noticeably from
the shock as he took a sideways glance at the contents Sae-Jin was
When Sae-Jin glared at him questioningly, the employee scratched the back
of his neck and sheepishly made an excuse.
“Ah, my apologies. Itâ€™s because regeneration is quite a rare effectâ€¦
to clarify, did you mean regenerative recovery of the wounds, instead?
Usually, a potion will be graded lower Mid tier even if the regenerative
effects prove to be minor. And on top of that, there is also a healing
effect as wellâ€¦. Hahaha. As long as there are no side effects, this
potion will be graded as High, surely? Many Knights Orders and hospitals
were getting concerned at the shortage of High grade items latelyâ€¦ so
this is great news.”
Sae-Jin lightly smirked at the employee. He knew there wouldnâ€™t be any
side effects with the potion. Since a word like perfection was not nearly
enough to describe the skills of an Elite Goblin capable of combining the
ingredients and the powder of the Sabre-tooth Tigerâ€™s fang down to a
“Iâ€™ve completed the form.”
“Ah, thank you. Just in case, have you brought along a sample of the
The employee asked Sae-Jin as he handed over the form.
“Well, rather than what youâ€™d call a sample, Iâ€™ve got the finished
product here with me.”
Sae-Jin produced a glass bottle containing the potion from the robeâ€™s
pocket. A clear blue light emitted from the liquid inside and the small
area around the bottle glowed softly as a result.
In that moment, the male employee became completely speechless. After a
lengthy deliberation brought on by the indescribable beauty of the
potion, the only thing he could do was to swallow back his saliva, hard.
There was just no way a novice alchemist could concoct a medicine that
had both the effects of healing and regeneration. But there could be no
doubt as to what this clear blue liquid emitting the brilliant glow was.
Even without testing, even without assigning it a grade, this could only
be the “Healing and Regeneration” potion.
“â€¦. Thisâ€¦. Please, wait a moment.”
The male employee quickly recognised it as an item he was not qualified
to handle. A value of a potion with healing effects was higher than other
variety of potions. Obviously, people with jobs fighting back the tides
of Monsters, Hunters and Knights, as well as the civilians occupying
regular positions would have found such potions quite a necessity.
“Sorry, but I donâ€™t have much time.”
Unfortunately, he just couldnâ€™t afford to delay any longer, so Sae-Jin
stood up to leave. Seeing this, the employee went into a full-on panic
mode and he quickly grabbed Sae-Jinâ€™s shoulders and made him sit back
“Wait, wait, wait a moment, please!!! Just one moment!! The Manager
The employee was desperate in his plea. In reality, the Alchemy Houses
were actually high-stress organizations dyed in the colours of cutthroat
competition and the pursuit of the robust bottom lines.
To be in a better position to receive the “financial assistance”, the
twenty-odd Alchemy Houses spread throughout the country were engaged in a
bloody war of results, and the matter of which potion came out of which
House located in which province played the most important role in
achieving the best results. In the situation where a quality potion came
up for sale, then the House would occupy a more favourable position when
the inevitable petty squabbles should break out between the Knights
Orders and various other institutions that wanted the potion for
That was why the employee was adamant about keeping Sae-Jin here, but he
was firm with his reply.
“You donâ€™t need more than a few drops for the verification purposes, so
I shall leave behind three. There shouldnâ€™t be a problem for me to
return at a later date after the testing process is finished.”
“Ye, yes, that is true, butâ€¦ Wait, the stamp. Did you already stamp
your jijang on the form?” (A jijang is literally a finger stamp. Canâ€™t
think of an English equivalent and itâ€™s not really leaving a
The alchemists wishing to stay anonymous were specially managed through
their jijangs. So, while most employees didnâ€™t know of the name nor the
face of an alchemist, they could still tell which potions were brewed by
that particular person.
“Yes, I did. I saw the blue-coloured number 30437 spreading out on the
That number meant that his application was 30437th for this particular
Alchemy House. Seeing that there were less than 1000 variety of potions
on the market, there was no real need to ask just how many aspiring
alchemists out there had to taste despair during the grading and
“Yesâ€¦ in that caseâ€¦ please promise me to come and visit us later on!!
That youâ€™ll return to us!!”
The employee bowed down and shouted out aloud. It was loud enough to
reverberate around the interior and caused the surrounding gazes to focus
here, but to those familiar with how the Alchemy Houses operated behind
the scenes, it was only at the level of yet another day at work.
“Ah, yes. Well, do you have a preparatory bottle for the samples at hand?”
At his words, the employee hurriedly moved to find a sample bottle, and
Sae-Jin left the Alchemy House after leaving behind precisely three drops
worth of his potion inside of that tiny little glass bottle.
The downtown of the city was filled with all sorts of sounds.
Conversations from the passing traffic of people tumbled around one
another, mixed with the various noises of the city – Sae-Jin found it
hard to adjust after getting used to the stillness of the mountains.
But even among this jumble of sounds, there was this one voice that
attracted his ears especially so.
â€“ Knight Kim Yu-Rin, there are only 2 weeks left until your Highest
Tier Knight ascension ceremonyâ€¦. How are you feeling right now?
The sound was coming from a wrist-mounted hologram TV displayed in the
electronics store, the projection showing an interview performed by a
reporter with Kim Yu-Rin.
â€“ Not too bad.
â€“ â€¦.Yes? Ah, haha. Ahahahaha. Is that so? Of courseâ€¦ Hahaha. It
wouldnâ€™t be bad at all, hahaha!!
The reporter could only just about diffuse the tricky situation the
uncomfortably short answer brought on with several awkward laughters.
Sae-Jin smirked lightly as he watched. He knew why she acted that way,
after all – something about the phobia of being in front of cameras or
something like that.
â€“ So, so thenâ€¦ letâ€™s proceed to the next question. Ah, yes, after
being voted No. 1 as the most beautiful Knight by the male counterparts,
can you please tell us how you feelâ€¦.
The reporter forgot the rest of his question momentarily after he got
properly sucked in by the infinitely clear gazes of Yu-Rin staring at his
face. It might have been an ordinary gaze in truth, but her beautiful
face made it seem much more extraordinary than it really was.
â€“ Obviously, itâ€™s not bad, as well, no? Ah, no, wait, thatâ€™sâ€¦
what was it againâ€¦?
The reporter finally managed to open his mouth and sprouted nonsense for
a second or two, before his professional mentality brought back his game
face back on and he quickly changed to another question.
â€“ Ah, thatâ€™s right. Can Miss Yu-Rin enlighten us to what your ideal
man entails? Itâ€™s just that, several hotly trending male Knights have
all chosen Miss Yu-Rin as their ideal partner, you see.
â€“ â€¦. An ideal man..?
â€“ Yes, yes.
Yu-Rin thought deeply for a moment, before breaking out in a grin.
It was short, but stunningly beautiful enough to dye not only the
projection but the entire grey street surrounding the store with
brightness. The reporter was lost for words again, while Yu-Rin replied
with that dazzling smile still on her face.
â€“ I prefer a man thatâ€™s like a Goblin.
â€“ â€¦. Yes? What do you mean by thatâ€¦?
â€“ Except that heâ€™d have to be intelligent and kind. In other words, a
Goblin thatâ€™s both kind and skilled.
The reporter ended up interpreting her words that sounded unrealistic as
something like â€کno ideal man for me out thereâ€™, or such.
â€“ Ye- yes, of course. Thank you for your candid replies. As expected of
the youngest ever Highest Tier Knight, the qualities for your ideal
partner are indeed very unique.
But Sae-Jin was different. He stood there staring at the image of Kim
Yu-Rin for a long while with a huge smile on his face, before entering
the shop properly.
“Ah, yeah, how much for that wrist hologram TV? Oh, wait, will it work
even deep inside a cave up in the mountains?”
While the employees of the Alchemy Houses were mostly the “specialists”
who gave up walking the paths of alchemy mid-way, the roles of Managers
could only be filled by the actual alchemists. An alchemist had to
register a minimum of three potions in the bestseller list in order to
either open up an Alchemy House or to sit in the apprentice position of a
The Dark Elf alchemist Hazeline, who rose to the Alchemy House
Managerâ€™s seat at a young age of 31, was currently making an unreadable
expression on her face as she examined the sample potion left behind by
the mysterious visitor earlier today.
“â€¦Hey, why am I even looking at this? Hell, this doesnâ€™t even need to
get verified, either. At the very least, itâ€™s a mid grade. And at most,
a High grade. Itâ€™s been awhile since I saw a potion this bright and
clear. And like a schmuck, you sent away the guy who brewed this by
saying that you needed to test it?!”
“My apologiesâ€¦ I have no excuses.”
“Oh well, at least, with him leaving the sample behind here, the
possibility of us doing business together is rather high, so no need to
apologise. Anyhow, whatâ€™s it called?”
“Ah, that isâ€¦ itâ€™s a little strange.”
The male employee hesitantly checked the application form Sae-Jin wrote,
but in the end, stutteringly read aloud what was written on the paper.
“A Goblinâ€™s Kindness. Thatâ€™s the name of the potion.”
(So, a confession time. The author keeps saying High, Mid, Low and stuff
like that while describing the tiers/rankings of the Knights and Hunters,
potions and Monsters, but hasnâ€™t really provided a context to go with
them so far. I did a quick Google and lo and behold, the word ê³ ىœ„
ê¸°ى‚¬ used to describe what Kim Yu-Rinâ€™s ranking was, which literally
means Highest/Superior Knight, actually was the Korean TLed term for the
Protoss High Templar from the Starcraft games. Yâ€™know, that one Koreans
all go mad over. So, uhâ€¦. should I rename all of the Knight rankings to
that of Protoss system? What about that of the Hunters? And Monsters?