1

"Brother, tell me how you did it. Please, I want to become as strong as you," Tae Jung-Hee said in an overly enthusiastic tone.

Ning had woken up not long ago and had come down for breakfast, and yet he was already being hounded over by his little cousin over how he could get stronger.

In fact, this wasn't the only time. Even last night when Jung-Hee had only just returned home and had learned about his grandmother being out of the coma, and Ning being the SSS-ranked hunter the healed her, he had started asking Ning about the secrets that led him to become this strong.

His uncle and cousin had helped reel in this young cousin of his last night, but he had once again started asking Ning.

As a C-ranked hunter, he truly wished to learn the secrets that could help him reach the same heights as Ning.

"You aren't an Apostle, right?" he asked.

"No, no, I'm not an apostle," Ning said.

"Then please tell me, big bro. I will do anything that's necessary," he said.

Ning sighed for a moment and decided to give him something. "Fine, I will tell you how you can become stronger," he said.

Jung-Hee excitedly looked at Ning while waiting for him to speak.

"First thing is, you will have to give up on your soul. You will have to sell your soul in exchange for something else that will help you grow stronger," Ning said.

Jung-Hee's smile slowly disappeared as a frown appeared on his face. "You're messing with me. Just say 'no' if you don't want to answer," he said.

Ning couldn't help but chuckle. "There's nothing I can do that will make you become stronger in a concise amount of time," he said. "If you want to get stronger, you must persevere and go along with the flow of time."

Jung-Hee's eyes narrowed. "How long did it take you to become this strong?" he asked.

"Very long," Ning said. "Much longer than you can imagine."

"6 years?" Jung-Hee asked. That was the furthest back he could think of when the dungeons were just starting to appear.

"What are you guys talking about?" Hi-Ah asked. "Is he bothering you?"

"What do you mean 'bothering'? I'm just asking big bro some questions," Jung-Hee said.

"No, he's not bothering me. He just wants to know how to become strong like me," Ning said.

"Can he become strong like you?" Hi-Ah gave a confused look. "From what I gathered, you didn't get strong normally, but rather just awakened this strong. I don't think we can ever reach your level."

"Hmm, that might not necessarily be true," Ning said. Ning pulled out a set of rings, 3 in total that he had prepared before going to sleep last night.

"What's that?" Jung-Hee asked.

"Wear this," he said as he gave on to his little cousin. "You too." He handed the other one to his other cousin.

Hi-Ah curiously looked at the ring. Aside from being of very high-tier craftsmanship and having a nice-looking red jewel on it, she couldn't see what was so good about the ring. It wasn't even gold or silver from what she could see.

"Just promise me you'll wear it. It's a type of item for defense," he said. "I've already given grandmother something similar, and this is for you two. I will give uncle one when he wakes up."

"It's a defensive item? What does that mean?" Jung Hee asked.

"It will be easier to show," Ning said and took a plate from the table before throwing it in his direction.

Jung-Hee instinctively put up his hands to block the plate, and he heard it shatter. But he did not feel it.

He slowly opened his eyes to see a soft yellow-colored barrier around him that was protecting him. "What? How is this possible?" he asked. He had seen some magical items that could do various things, but they all needed the wearer to inject mana.

However, he was doing no such thing himself.

"That's not the only thing possible," Ning said. "Say 'status'."

"Status? Woah!" Jung-Hee moved backward when the transparent blue screen appeared in front of him. "What is this?"

"It's a little copy of what the Apostles see. It's just there for you to keep track of your own stats without having to use one of those machines. I have also put in a technique in there that if you can learn and use properly, you can acquire 100% of the mana you take from every mana stone you use."

"Depending on the grade of mana stone you can acquire, you will be able to improve your mana by a lot," he said. "But you have to remember that this is just your mana. Your physical capabilities will still have to rely on your daily exercises and various other physical activities you will do."

"Will this really help though?" Hi-Ah asked.

"You will be able to tell after you try it out," Ning said. "Here, give this to your father too."

"Okay," Hi-Ah said and took the 3rd ring.

His cousin no longer bothered him and only stared at the status window, seeing his ranks in the same way it would be shown in the Department of Dungeon Defense. His Strength, Speed, and Mana were all C-ranks, and he was just a single rank increase away from entering the B-rank

Ning finally got to eat his breakfast in peace. Just then, the doorbell rang from outside, and Hi-Ah lost her focus on her ring. She turned to look towards the outside with a confused look on her face.

"Who could it be at this time?" she thought.

Ning spread his divine sense and saw who it was outside. "It's a Chinese man," he said. "Do you know anyone Chinese?"

"No? You are the only Chinese person I've talked to in ages," she said. "I'll go see who it is."

Hi-Ah went to the gate and opened it. When she saw who was on the other side, she couldn't help but be shocked at the person that stood outside.

The man said something in the Chinese language. She had no way of understanding Chinese, but for some reason, she did understand exactly what he meant. And even more surprisingly, she knew what to reply.

"Is Ning Ruogong here?" the man asked.

The man who seemed to be in his early 30s had long flowing hair, and pitch black eyes, and was wearing what she could only assume was a modern take on some traditional Chinese robes.

Hi-Ah looked at the man and without even having to second guess her thoughts, she knew who the man was.

Zhu Zentian, the Apostle of the Shadow's Edge guild from China.

She had only ever seen him on TV, so seeing him in person made her feel quite surprised.

"Is the hunter named Ning Ruogong here?" a man by her side translated the words to Korean, assuming she did not understand him.

Hi-Ah was way too caught up in her own shock so before she could even respond, Ning appeared behind her.

"I am Ning Ruogong, the one you seem to be looking for," Ning said as he stepped in front of his cousin. "How may I help you?"