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Chapter 19: Cliché (1)

In any era, in any world, there’s one eternal, unchanging truth.

Money is always right.

It might sound materialistic, but what can be done about it?

It’s an undeniable fact that no one can refute.

With a satisfied smile, I gazed at the item resting in my hand.

A pill shining with a silvery luminescence. It’s an item that also appeared in the previous work.

I didn’t receive it as a reward for a request, nor did I acquire it by conquering a dungeon. The reason this item was in my possession was simple.

Miss Rubia gave it to me.

‘Does that person have some kind of a “kind-hearted complex”?’

It’s astonishing how someone can be so kind.

If I ask for money, she gives it,

Even without saying what it’ll be used for, she still gives it.

In fact, I should have been the one to pay for the repairs after damaging the mansion, yet here I was, receiving her support instead.

Moreover, she gladly allowed me to stay at the mansion.

As if she was saying I could stay as long as I wished.

Honestly, it would have been proper to decline such an offer... but I couldn’t resist the temptation.

It seemed only natural.

Starting off as a slave in the mines, then wandering to and fro distant mountains; where was there ever a moment for peaceful rest?

But this place, it was nothing short of paradise.

In terms of facilities alone, this place far surpasses the house I used to live in.

In terms of design and size, it’s overwhelmingly superior, and the facilities are all implemented through what’s known as magic engineering.

Setting everything else aside, I hadn’t even been able to take a proper shower for months. How could I possibly refuse such a tempting offer?

Ultimately, I had no choice but to accept Miss Rubia’s proposal.

After all, everything is difficult at first, but once you do it, the reluctance diminishes with each subsequent time.

I brazenly began to use Miss Rubia’s wealth as if it were my own.

‘...Looking at it again, I do seem quite despicable.’

But, what can be done?

It’s not as if I’m doing this solely for my own benefit.

It’s all in the name of saving the world. For the sake of everyone’s lives, I’ve just slightly set aside my conscience.

Such actions should rather be commended, shouldn’t they?

Besides, if I introduce some profitable ventures later on using my knowledge from the previous work, it’ll be a win-win situation.

With that self-justification, I looked again at the small pill in my hand.

The item description wasn’t popping up, as if there was a glitch in the status window, but it doesn’t matter.

Who hasn’t forgotten an item description in a game before?

Since it’s a drug that also appeared in the previous work, I roughly remember its effects.

‘Magic +1, Physical Condition +0.5’

Obviously, consuming just one isn’t going to turn me into a grand mage overnight.

But still, it’s a noticeable enough boost to feel a significant enhancement.

I quickly popped the pill into my mouth.

Instantly, I felt something wriggling inside. The energy from the pill was tearing through my insides.

I tried to quickly stabilize this energy... but failed.

I felt the energy dissipate hopelessly.

Well, it was to be expected.

I’m no martial artist.

How much experience could I possibly have with consuming spiritual elixirs?

‘It’s a bit of a waste.’

In the previous work, consuming items of the spiritual elixir type was implemented as a mini-game.

It was a simple process of just clicking at the right time. But now that it’s become reality, the difficulty has skyrocketed.

I probably didn’t even fully enjoy half of the drug’s effect.

‘But still...’

What does it matter?

I immediately picked up the next pill and swallowed it. And then again, once more, several times over.

These pills, each worth enough to buy a building if you had two, were plentiful; I had well over 50, so there was no need to be frugal.

Money is indeed wonderful.

Why bother searching for hidden treasures? It’s much simpler to find a generous benefactor and solve everything with a cash splash.

‘Well, I wouldn’t normally resort to such measures.’

It goes without saying.

After all, you can’t become infinitely stronger just by consuming these kinds of spiritual elixirs.

There’s a limit to how much one can consume. Exceed that, and not only could your body deteriorate from being unable to handle the energy, but you could also die.

However, I have what’s known as a ‘healthy body’ passive.

Naturally, in the game system, spiritual elixirs aren’t treated as poison.

Meaning, I can essentially ignore any side effects through sheer resilience.

It’s sort of a loophole.

A smile naturally forms on my lips. Which gamer would dislike such a cheat?

I continued to consume the elixirs like I was eating popcorn.

The more I ate, the more accustomed I became to controlling the energy. Eventually, I could absorb the effects without wasting any.

‘...This is.’

As soon as I finished, I could clearly feel the change in my body.

It was to be expected.

After all, this was my first time encountering something called ‘magical power’.

I could feel the energy flowing through my body, even managing to move it at will.

With this, if I construct a magic spell, I might actually be able to perform real magic.

As a gamer and avid reader of web novels, there’s no one who hasn’t dreamed of such a situation.

I naturally smiled at this romantic scenario, then... I realized something.

‘Why haven’t I felt anything like this until now?’

Upon reflection, it was a bit strange.

Even if I was a beginner character with low magical power, it shouldn’t have been completely absent.

I should have been able to feel at least a faint trace of similar energy.

Until now, I thought I was so lacking in talent for magic control that I couldn’t sense the magic within me.

It doesn’t make sense that it’s working so well now when it was impossible before.

‘Was my magic power at zero when my character was created?’

That seems a bit far-fetched.

Every living being, let alone humans, is born with at least a trace of magic power.

Pondering over this perplexing situation, I opened my status window, only to be met with the same automated response.

The path of fate is being reset.


And once again, I was brushed off.

When will this infuriating issue be resolved? At this point, it might be better off not having it at all.

It’s utterly useless in life.

‘Well, I guess it doesn’t really matter since I’m managing fine without the status window.’

I don’t need explicit goals or quests; I’m progressing well on my own.

I’ve made allies like Sien and Lien, gained the support of Rubia, and now I’ve become stronger by boosting my stats on my own.

Even so, consuming 50 elixirs in one day might have been overdoing it, as my body felt slightly stiff.

Stretching out, I eased the tension.

Black Market.

The underground market opens in 3 days.

Fortunately, this time I have some time to prepare.

So, let’s focus on strengthening my power in the meantime.

*****

Rubia felt like she was on the verge of madness.

It was, perhaps, to be expected.

Her mansion, her personal sanctuary, had been invaded by a secret organization.

And not just any organization, but the most powerful one in the empire.

And somehow, Rubia had ended up joining it too.

‘That’s not the problem.’

After weighing the pros and cons, she saw the merit in joining.

She wasn’t regretting her decision to join that much.

But the real issue came after that.

‘How come they are all monsters without exception?’

The girl with the black hair, that Sien... She doesn’t even want to think about her.

On that day, Sien had noticed Rubia’s hesitation over the man’s proposal until the very last moment and had been watching her with eyes full of murderous intent.

There’s a limit to how twisted one’s thinking can be.

She found it offensive that Rubia didn’t gratefully accept the leader’s proposal and dared to weigh its pros and cons.

She’s a lunatic who truly believes that the world should revolve around this Ian guy.

The girl with white hair is somewhat nicer.

But she’s the very person who destroyed Rubia’s mansion.

And what’s more, despite her kind and gentle demeanor, there’s something eerily unsettling about her.

Being around her naturally makes one’s skin crawl.

And finally, the leader.

He is the very person driving Rubia to madness.

On the surface, he appears perfectly normal.

His manner of speaking is polite, and he always treats her with courtesy.

But she remembers.

-I was wondering whether I should kill them.

She remembers the man who said those words, smiling the most beautiful smile in the world as he contemplated killing her right in front of her.

Just thinking about it sends shivers down her spine.

Now, as she was heading towards the leader, Ian, this enigmatic man, it felt even more terrifying.

But she couldn’t stop just because she was scared.

‘If this continues, I’ll truly go bankrupt!’

She had to plead with him somehow. To please cut back on the expenses a bit. To refrain from making unreasonable demands.

With these thoughts, Rubia cautiously, gingerly opened the door.

And then..., an utterly incomprehensible scene unfolded before her eyes.

The silver pill.

Rubia watched in disbelief as the man casually popped into his mouth the superior-grade elixir she had gone through so much trouble to obtain, one that was difficult to find even a single pill of.

Rubia’s mouth fell open naturally.

It was, perhaps, to be expected.

Such a spiritual elixir is overwhelming to properly absorb even one in a day.

Yet, the man was nonchalantly swallowing them like snacks, one after another, in a manner that could easily lead to ruin.

Under normal circumstances, this would be a recipe for disaster.

However, the man’s expression remained unchanged.

The situation spoke volumes.

...To him, such doses were inconsequential.

The energy from the elixir that would overwhelm anyone else was nothing compared to the unfathomable power he possessed.

Rubia couldn’t help but be certain.

This man was no mere man.

He might not even be human.

No, it was certain that he was beyond human.

“Ah, do you need something?”

The monster addressed her.

The thought of explaining that it was impossible to secure a VIP ticket for the Black Market with only 3 days left, or begging him to consider her circumstances a bit, couldn’t even make it past her lips.

It was impossible for those words to come out.

Thus, Rubia, struggling to hold back the tears welling up in her eyes, managed to say,

“No, it’s nothing...”

...If she wanted to live, she had to secure an entrance ticket somehow.

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