I know I grabbed Akto’s hand, but I couldn’t touch it. It was as if it was a soul that could not be touched. I guess you could say it was like a hologram with no physical body?
I tried again, but the same thing happened.
However, Akto did not take his hand away. It was as if he was telling me to find a way to do it.
“Do not give up and shake my hand. Then the reward I promised will naturally become yours.”
I felt something after hearing that.
There was a similarity between the two.
Akto was a soul without a physical body.
Similarly, Fairy Energy existed inside the jewels without a physical body.
I think I get it.
He means that I can only make Fairy Energy my own if I can grab his soul with my hand. That’s the way to reach the real apex of Jewel Alchemy.
I calmed myself. Then I focused. I was treating Akto’s soul as if it was an ingredient for jewel combination.
Then I reached my hand out again.
I still couldn’t grab Akto’s hand. However, I made myself believe that Akto’s physical body was there and continued to focus.
I then suddenly felt an unknown source of warmth at some point. It felt as if a source of heat was coming out of Akto’s body.
This change meant that things were going well.
I focused even more. I made sure to focus on the warmth coming out from Akto.
It started to get stronger the longer I focused. Especially the warmth coming from his outstretched hand. And that warmth slowly turned tangible. I could feel our hands starting to touch.
‘I can feel it! I can grab it!’
I lightly shook Akto’s hand.
I definitely felt it. It felt like Akto’s skin touched mine. I could also feel Akto tightening his grip like I did.
That was how I shook hands with Akto.
Akto started to smile even brighter.
“Amazing! I didn’t expect you to realize it this quickly! Is it the difference between Dwarves and humans? Or are you just special?”
I could not respond. I was too busy focusing on not losing the feel Akto’s hand was giving me.
The feeling was not perfect. I did manage to grab Akto’s hand, but it was extremely faint, like a mirage that could disappear at any moment. I was worried that putting even a bit more strength would turn it into smoke.
I focused and focused some more. The feeling became even stronger as I continued, and I could feel the strength in Akto’s grip better as well.
I heard Akto’s voice again in a moment.
“That much is enough. That’s about as far as I got. I am really amazed. You took less than five minutes to learn something that took me tens of years!”
There was no more progression as Akto mentioned.
Akto removed his hand as well. It turned into an illusion again even though I didn’t let go.
I had no choice but to pull my hand back in.
Akto turned his gaze again. He looked toward the Dwarves with an affectionate gaze. He was especially paying attention Goonto.
“You already reached One with the Sword at such an early age. I’m shocked at your achievements.”
“Thank you very much. It is an honor to meet you in person like this, Akto-nim.”
“You came all the way here to rescue me. Thank you very much. But it’s too bad. I wish to give all of you rewards as well, but I do not have anything. Is there something you want from me?”
“You are the hero of all Dwarves! I got to meet THE Akto-nim in person! Being able to rescue you with my own hands is both an honor and a reward in itself.”
I could feel that Goonto meant it.
Akto should have felt it as well. Maybe that was why his expression softened even more.
“But I still wish to give you something. The only thing I have is information about this Demons’ Mine. Feel free to ask me anything about this place.”
Oh, that’s really nice to hear.
There’s still things for us to take care of here. We were kind of stuck because we had no information.
It was also a chance to make Akto owe me a favor.
I quickly cut into the conversation.
“I will give the Dwarves rewards on your behalf, Akto-nim.”
“You will? How?”
Akto, as well as Goonto and the Dwarves, looked toward me with gazes full of expectations.
Giving the Dwarves a reward was simple. I knew what Dwarves liked the most.
“I will fortify their weapons one level more.”
“Oh! You mean a two level fortification is possible?”
“Holy crap! Will you really do that?”
All of the Dwarves’ eyes opened wide in joy. It was as if they had received the best present in the world.
Akto was very satisfied as well.
“It is indeed the best gift you could give them. You are already friends with the Dwarves as well. Don’t argue with each other and stay friends with the Dwarves forever.”
“Of course. I keep all of my friends for a very long time.”
“Hahaha. Thanks. I’m guessing there is something you want from me in return. Tell me.”