Thumbs Up, Level Up
Ji-Cheok mindlessly scrolled through the never-ending list of the Likes Shop.
‘It costs 10 million Likes to purchase the Resurrection skill?’
The Archangel’s Serenade had the ability to revive and heal every person within audible range, but the Resurrection skill was cheaper, as it was limited to only one person at a time.
The head and heart had to be intact and there was a limited time frame after death when this skill could be used.
This skill also had some other strict conditions; for instance, the person using this skill could not revive the same person for at least ten years.
‘The Perfect Cure skill costs 5 million Likes.’
It looked like this skill could even completely cure cancer.
‘The All-Seeing Eye of God costs 12 million Likes.’
The ability to cure cancer, seeing through all existence… None of the skills found in the Hunter Store could even remotely compare to the skills in the Likes Shop.
‘What is this… Oh, right.
Wasn’t there a message that came up when I became Awakened?’
[God ??? has shown interest in you.]
The Hunters chosen by God were all stronger, but since Ji-Cheok wasn’t aware of others in his situation, maybe it wasn’t actually obvious enough for even the neighbor
’s dog to know about it.
Things didn’t come freely, and since the god wouldn’t have chosen just any Hunter, there had to be a catch.
The Hunters chosen by God would carry out their wishes, sometimes communicated directly and sometimes through an oracle, and many would die in the process.
This was something that most knew.
‘Then, what does this ‘God ???’ want? They give me signs that they are interested in me, and they give me these powers, but no other message.
And why isn’t their name displayed?’
There were both pros and cons to Ji-Cheok’s job as a GodTube Influencer; it was clearly a double-edged sword.
Bluntly put, it must have been designed by and dedicated to those who craved attention.
[Benevolence is the future in this cruel world! Receive more Likes by building up more connections!]
Did his unknown patron god specialize in attention and fame? Were there other gods that didn’t? Thinking about the various mythologies, it made sense in a way.
Greek gods punished those who didn’t worship them, turned arrogant people into spiders, or threw down lightning bolts in a grand apocalyptic show.
Odin required his followers to bring him sacrifices by hanging people on a noose, while the mischievous Loki played pranks for attention.
Wasn’t there a way for the chosen Hunters to communicate with their god?’
It took Ji-Cheok a long time to find the answer to this question as he didn’t have the blinking chat notification window that others seemed to have.
He finally noticed that there was something in the corner and he clicked on it.
A message popped up.
[This System is under maintenance.
Please wait for patch 1.01.]
Ji-Cheok wondered if he was going crazy.
At this point, it was still funny, even though there really were a lot of times when he questioned his own sanity.
With nothing else to do, he shrugged and sighed deeply.
‘If I don’t know, then I have to accept that I don’t know.’
The thing that was important to him right now was figuring out what to do moving forward.
‘I have to do whatever generates the most Likes, and the crucial part is getting the public to know me.’
The people needed to know and see what Ji-Cheok was doing for them to give Likes.
He had to show his good deeds to people for him to get those Likes.
‘I don’t really enjoy doing it this way, but… I guess there’s nothing else I can do.’
He organized his thoughts while looking through the Likes Shop.
Surely there had to be a Hunter skill for…
‘I found it!’
[360° Video Shooting — 1,000 Likes.
[Class: Normal (Non-Upgradable, Rank F)
You can shoot 360° video on a radius of 10 meters from the subject.
The captured video can be stored as any media file type.
Auto mode supported.]
The ability to film their point of view and see all their surroundings was a skill that most Hunters on GodTube had.
People probably didn’t know how the skill worked, but they were always impressed by the dungeon quests caught on camera, and even more so by the fighting scenes.
Pretty much every hunting party would have a Hunter with this skill.
That was how important it was to film everything, and the Auto mode was a major plus for Ji-Cheok.
When he brought his finger closer to toggle the Auto mode, another tip message came up.
[If no shooting angle is specified, this mode will automatically adjust to the best angle while recording.
Recommended for beginners who have no experience in capturing video.]
Shooting angles were particularly important, as one angle could make even a cat look like a top model, while another angle… well.
If Ji-Cheok took the pictures himself, a laser would shoot out of his eye, and the results would probably look like ghost photography.
The Auto mode would help his horrible photo skills big time.
[1,000 Likes have been deducted.]
‘What I’ve learned so far while being a Hunter Assistant and from other Godtube Influencers is paying off.
At least I’m not completely lost right now.
Then… the next thing I need is to improve my natural recovery.’
Usually, Hunters took five days to recover once they returned from a trip to a dungeon.
It did not matter if their stamina was fine, they had to wait until their mana recovered as well.
Hunters couldn’t do anything dangerous during that period, as all their skills relied on mana.
There were elixirs that could restore mana quicker, but these could only be made by professionals — alchemists, that is.
Of course, they were also expensive because of the sky-high value of the raw ingredients.
It wasn’t like any random Hunter could just brew a bunch of potions after a trip; the Mana Recovery Potion, for instance, required high Intelligence, as well as a high-level Alchemy skill.
At this stage, Ji-Cheok couldn’t brew such a potion, which meant that the Mana Recovery skill was not something he could afford to leave aside for later.
Sure enough, this skill was so expensive that he wished money grew on trees.
However, whether he had this skill or not was a key factor when it came to his future income — since Mana Recovery would restore his mana within a single day, he would naturally be able to hunt five times more, and his salary would be proportionally higher.
Moreover, not only was mana needed during combat, but it was a must for auxiliary skills as well.
Whether for appraising or producing items, mana was indispensable.
‘Next, I’m going to use the remaining Likes to purchase skills from each category!’ Ji-Cheok declared to himself.
“Take one thing at a time,” an old sage had once said.
This single-minded dedication was why a swordsman naturally held onto his sword and an archer’s most important possession was a bow — and that was not to even start with complex professions like magic and alchemy.
It was already hard enough to fill up the tech tree  all the way in one single profession, who had the time to waste exploring other paths?
On the other hand, Ji-CHeok approached this from a completely different perspective.
‘Do I really have to specialize in one thing and one thing only?’
Dungeon monsters had a special attribute called ‘Suppression’.
Namely, while both Hunters and monsters had similar attributes, a monster would always win against a Hunter of the same attribute.
Some monsters were immune to physical attacks, while others couldn’t be harmed by poison or curses, and others were resistant to fire, ice, or some other element.
For a Hunter who encountered a monster that suppressed their attribute, the choice was simple: run… or die.
Ji-Cheok had come to understand this perfectly when he had split open a fire lizard’s carcass and pulled out a certain Hunter’s body.
‘How did someone so powerful die like this?’
He could swear that he had seen this man blasting out flames and blowing up a cliff.
This Hunter had even been featured in the TV commercials during program breaks, where Ji-Cheok remembered him slurping up spicy fire noodles.
“Real men only eat spicy fire noodles!” was this Hunter’s catchphrase.
In order to cover his elemental weaknesses, this Hunter would travel with another Awakened that possessed water abilities.
In the end, however, humans were humans, and it was a mistake to think that people wouldn’t look out for their own interests during a crisis.
Would someone truly be willing to risk their lives and leave their family to save someone else over pennies? This was also a lesson that Ji-Cheok had learned when he was a Hunter Assistant.
‘Do I have to choose just one type of skill? No, why can’t I get all types?’
In order to cut something, one did not require a sharp Myeongdo.
In fact, a knife the size of one’s palm could be used for many more practical applications, while a treasure sword could only be used in one way.
Many people were trying to acquire a Myeongdo — that is, to be at the peak of one single profession — but for Ji-Cheok, there was no need to follow that trend.
‘I better start dividing my points and choose everything that I can use now.
The media hyped me up as some sort of well-rounded talent, right?’
This was a decision that would impact his whole career as a Hunter.
However, Ji-Cheok immediately figured out the kind of skill he needed to buy next.
“Alright, the first thing is to get a Mana Recovery skill.
Search for a Mana Recovery skill! Something that can be learned immediately.”
[200 search results.]
The search results came up on the screen, and Ji-Cheok noticed how much fewer Mana Recovery skills there were than he had thought.
Two hundred types were still plenty, but it was worth checking them one by one.
In the end, only two skills really stood out to Ji-Cheok.
[Mana Heart of the Ark Dragon — 50,000 Likes.
[Class: Unique (Upgradable, Rank F)
Dragons are a magical tribe, and their hearts are able to gather mana.
Based on the special characteristics of the dragon heart, a mana-gathering skill has been developed for human use.
Caution: Skill unavailable if user has mastered any other mana skill.
Skill unavailable if user is above level 2.
Skill unavailable if user has trained any part of their body.
Mana Recovery +100%.
Upon learning the skill, an additional Ring of Mana (1 circle/passive) skill will be acquired.
As user becomes more familiar with the skill, the ability to recover will correspondingly improve.
Requirement: Level 1
*The System shall not be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever incurred by the User because of improper use and/or ignoring the warning label.]
These detailed conditions were brutal.
Simply put, this Mana Recovery skill needed to be acquired before any other skill that modified a part of the body, and also before Ji-Cheok reached level 2.
This was because the skill would make adjustments to the heart and body, and if any pre-existing modifications to the body due to another skill were to be interrupted by the Mana Heart, then it could be extremely dangerous for the user.
It was similar to installing an operating system on a PC: if the computer already had an OS, installing a second one from a different developer would very likely cause errors and result in a Blue Screen of Death.
Of course, unlike in the case of computers, which could be easily restored from a backup, errors within the human body were fairly expensive problems to fix.
That said, Ji-Cheok still wanted this skill.
Not only did he fulfill the conditions, but the skill was also upgradeable, which meant that the more he used it, the more powerful it would become.
Even better, the System also mentioned something about a complementary skill, the Ring of Mana.
Ji-Cheok looked up the Ring of Mana.
[Mana Ring of the Ark Dragon — Not for sale
[Class: Unique (Upgradable, Rank F)
When using the Mana Heart of the Ark Dragon, the mana flow inside the body will form a ring-shaped cycle.
As skill proficiency increases, max Mana capacity and spell casting speed will also increase.
Can only be acquired when the user is able to feel mana coursing through their body.]
These were skills that Ji-Cheok thought fit him well, but then he noticed another skill that caught his eye.
[Arcane Circle of Mana Recovery — 10,000 Likes.
[Class: Rare (Non-Upgradable, Rank C)
User can draw a magic circle that increases mana recovery.
Anyone within the circle perimeter will partake of the blessing.
Mana recovery +200% ]
Setting up this magical circle was probably complicated; as for how he was supposed to design it… that was probably something Ji-Cheok had to figure out by himself.
That said, a 200% increase in mana recovery was not something he could ignore.
“Purchase both skills,” Ji-Cheok commanded.
[You have used 60,000 Likes to purchase the Mana Heart of the Ark Dragon and the Arcane Circle of Mana Recovery.]
‘Wow, I just spent a lot of money.’
It was completely worth it for Ji-Cheok, as these two skills combined allowed for a whopping 300% improvement in mana recovery..
‘I guess I have 45,000 Likes left, then?’
Now, it was time to focus on improving his combat skills.
One may imagine combat skills to be smashing the skulls of monsters like shattering flower vases, which may be equivalent to cooking a piece of raw steak without anything else.
However, steaks still had to go through the entire process of getting prepared, cut into bite size pieces, and letting it marinate.
It was the same for combat.
Attack, defense, CCs healing, buffs, movement, and passive skills — these formed the complete set of aspects Ji-Cheok needed to cover.
‘If Mu-Cheok saw what I was doing, he’d probably blow a gasket and question why I needed all seven of them.’
Well, in the end, it was all about survival.
Ji-Cheok was making an informed decision based on experience and reasoning, rather than just getting whatever skills he thought were cool.
If anything, it would have been weird for him to follow the trends when he had better options.
As for the auxiliary part, he already had an appraisal skill, so the only other thing he needed was a craftsmanship skill.
‘Which skill should I get for craftsmanship?’
Ji-Cheok looked at the list one by one.
[The Iron Dwarf’s Blacksmithing Skill]
This skill appeared to be based on the blacksmithing arts of the Iron Dwarf tribe, and the price seemed decent.
Unfortunately, it required materials which were impossible to find on Earth and had to be retrieved from dungeons, such as monster body parts and dungeon minerals.
‘It’s probably more cost-efficient to buy ready-made items than to get this skill.’
[The Moonlight Elf ’s Blacksmithing Skill]
Beyond the material requirements, the basic skill requirement was spiritual magic.
That’s a pie in the sky.
visual representation of the possible upgrade paths for players
The term ’sangsong’ literally means ‘compatibility’, both in a positive sense (as partners) and in a negative sense (as natural enemies).
In this particular case, it means that a monster with a certain ability will always win against a Hunter with the same ability, as the monster’s ability ‘suppresses’ the Hunter’s.
The terms ‘myeongdo’ (‘famous sword’) and ‘bogum’ (‘treasure sword’) refer to swords that are renowned due to superior craftsmanship and/or the identity of the owner(s).
Crowd Control, skills that allow a player to fight multiple other players or mobs.
They work either by inhibiting the opponents’ movement and/or skill use, or by forcing them to take certain actions.
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