“Of course. Do you think this is just any old pickaxe?”
The dwarves opened up the door to the storage room. The 200 pickaxes were piled up beautifully.
“Hurry up and take it. I need those to disappear from my eyes to feel better again.”
“Sigh, to think that I made that. Crazy.”
The dwarves must have been bitter every time they looked at the pickaxes.
Well, it wasn’t about the cost. It was a question of their pride as dwarves. They had to use that precious mithril and titanium mixed alloy in a stupid pickaxe that will be used by the humans. On top of that, the entire thing was made that way.
“I will put it to good use. This present.”
I handed the dwarves a magic bag full of mithril. They weren’t refined so the purity was low, but it should definitely be enough to cover the cost of the titanium cutlass.
The dwarves’ frown loosened up a bit.
“Indeed a friend who knows how to act.”
But the dwarves started to frown again. It was because of the miners who came with me. After checking out the stats of the pickaxes, their eyes turned the size of lamp posts.
“Wow! There are pickaxes like this in the world?”
“This is similar to the pickaxe that the tunnel supervisor-nim uses.”
“How many are here?”
Why don’t these men have any tact? Can’t they see that the dwarves are starting to frown? It was already a heated situation since a bunch of humans, that dwarves do not like, had crowded into the dwarves’ treasure storage.
It will not be late to admire these back in the Northern Mines.
“Let’s take them. Please hurry.”
I poked the sides of a couple of the miners.
It looks like the miners finally realized the expressions on the dwarves’ faces. They finally started to move quickly.
“Let’s go. The seniors will be waiting for us.”
“S, shall we?”
After that, we put the pickaxes into a magic bag.
I waved at the dwarves before returning to the Northern Mines.
“Everybody, gather around. The tunnel supervisor-nim has prepared a very special present for us.”
“Special present? What is it?”
“Wow. A special present from the tunnel supervisor-nim. I wonder what it is.”
“Whatever you are expecting, it is even better. Hurry up and come over.”
The miners flipped their bags and the pickaxes poured out.
Shame. To handle those precious pickaxes like this. Not that it will cause a single scratch on them.
The 200 pickaxes clanged and clanged on their way out.
“It’s just pickaxes.”
Tsk. Tsk. They don’t have much of a discerning eye. Definitely giving off that newbie feeling.
But Batoom and Goultan were different as expected. Even without touching it with their own hands, they were able to see the pickaxes for what they really were.
“This is the noise that is made when titanium is mixed in.”
“No, it is an even clearer sound. It sounds like even mithril is mixed in. It seems to be similar to the Guchu’s Pickaxe that I gave to Hwi Ram.”
It was very similar to it. But there was no magic on it, so the basic abilities were a bit lower and there were no special skills.
Nonetheless, it was in a different dimension than your average pickaxe.
The miners each picked up a pickaxe and inspected the information. After that, they finally started to marvel at it.
Attack Strength: 12
Attack Speed: 8
Requirement: Strength 49
Wow! The attack strength is all the way up at 12! And the attack speed is 8.”
“If I use this, my mining speed should be at least 3 times what it is now.”
“3 times? I think even 4 times is possible.”
“Oh my god. I didn’t know pickaxes like this existed.”
“Tunnel supervisor-nim, are you giving these to us?”
At someone’s question, everybody looked towards me. Their gazes were full of anticipation.
Of course I brought it to give it to the miners. But if they wanted it for free, there was just no way.
“Anybody who needs it can rent it for a fee. A monthly fee of 500,000 won.”
“500,000 won a month?”
“That’s kind of expensive.”
I’m sure it feels expensive. The pickaxes they’ve used until now would have been 500,000 at the high end. And that was the cost to own it, not borrow it.
Honestly, there really wasn’t a reason to this rental fee. I would only be getting 100,000,000 won a month.
That’s nothing compared to the amount of money I will make from here on.
I’m not thinking in the hundred billions but in the trillions.
But then, why am I charging a rental fee?
The important part isn’t the rental fee itself.
It is the image the miners will have of me!
People have a tendency to get used to their surroundings. If I start giving things to them for free, they will think of me as someone who always gives.
They will think that I am someone who is easy to take advantage of.
That is not the right relationship for me, or for the miners.
[If you stick to me, you can earn a large gain. But in order to earn it, you must be willing to spend as much.]
That is what I consider to be our proper relationship.
“If you use this, you can earn a minimum of 5,000,000 won more than what you are earning now. Just using it one day will net you more than a year’s worth of rental fee.”
“That is true.”
“Mithril is mixed into it after all. Mithril is a mineral that only dwarves can handle.”
“What are you talking about? Our Tunnel supervisor-nim can do it too.”
“Anyways, it is an amazing pickaxe. Even if it was not 500,000 but 1,000,000 won, it is still a beneficial deal. I will pay.”
“I will pay as well. I will pay you in advance for a year’s worth of rental.”
The miners must have finally finished their calculations. All of them started to raise their hand to say they will use it.
There was no need to rush. There were plenty of pickaxes.
But it is not something anybody can use. My final card to control the Mine Income. Only those who agree to this can use the pickaxe.
“It was really hard for me to get these pickaxes. I do not want to rent it out to people who will not put it to good use. Just promise me one thing.”
“What is the promise?”
“That you will work more than 8 hours a day.”
The miners in Royal Roader usually worked an average of 4 hours a day. Even those who worked really hard usually only worked about 5 hours.
It made sense since it was a hard job. But it was also true that there was definitely room to work harder.
“I think that is a bit much. Just thinking about it makes me tired already.”
“Must we really do that?”
The miners were grumbling.
Of course they needed to work 8 hours. That was the way to make the amount mined much greater, and that was the way to increase the monthly total of the Northern Mines, and most importantly, that was the way I could even flip Donstar’s panties inside out and take everything from him.
Then what will the total be?
They will be earning at least 3.5 times the amount thanks to the pickaxe, the deal with Humbley will raise it 10%, and the amount of hours they work will increase it by close to another 2 times.
Then it should be at least 7 times greater than what Donstar considered. The monthly income from the mines should be over 100,000,000,000 won.
I wonder if Donstar will have the means to make the monthly deposit.
But he will make sure to make the deposit. If he doesn’t have enough money, he will get a loan from a loan shark if he has to do so. Having a high income would mean that the value of the mine was that high.
Which means, once he takes over the ownership of the mine, 100,000,000,000 won will be a puny amount.
Of course he doesn’t know that this is a controlled value.
Once the mine is handed over to Donstar, the monthly income will return to normal. And then about 2 years after that ……
‘Pffft. It will become a world where we don’t need money. Forever.’
“Please work hard for just two years. I am trying to help you all become rich.”
Plus, all of you hate Donstar. Work with me so that we can pull one over him.
“I know you may not meet the 8 hours all the time. I just say that to ask that you work that hard. But for those of you who manage to fill the 8 hours completely, I will lower the tax rate to 25%.”
Since the amount mined is really high, a 5% difference in taxes is still a lot of money.
The miners finally seemed to understand my wishes.
“Fine. Does it help anybody else for me to work hard?”
“I might as well become rich and do whatever I please.”
“If it is the Northern Mines, I’ll be extremely motivated to work.”
“Fine! I agree!”
It was not a surprise that the miners agreed to the condition. In fact, all of them agreed.
Thanks to that, the 200 pickaxes disappeared instantly.
The miners could not hide their anticipation while holding the pickaxes.
“Is it because mithril is mixed in? It feels like it is wrapping around my hand.”
“It is heavy as well. Will that level of attack strength really come out?”
“Let’s hurry up and go try it out.”
“Yeah. I’m so curious I might die.”
The miners took the pickaxes and ran into the mine. They then swung the pickaxes as hard as they could.
“Even the sound is different!”
“Wow! Look at how the boulder is cracking. Was this boulder always this weak?”
“Pickaxes made by dwarves really are different.”
“Listen carefully. This is the sound of us becoming rich!”
The miners all looked like they were full of strength. They seemed to be extremely happy with the present I prepared for them.
I hope Donstar is happy as well.
It made me think about Donstar’s expression. What kind of expression will he make after seeing next month’s income from the Northern Mines?
Just thinking about that made me so happy the corners of my lips were dancing.
But I could not laugh out loud. Although everybody was excited because of the pickaxes, just one person had a dark expression.
It wasn’t just dark, it was downright depressing.
Even though the strength requirement was pretty low for the pickaxe, it was still too heavy for Jonnan. He was someone who used a small hand hoe because even the old pickaxe was too much.
It was because of Akto’s curse.
That was why only Jonnan could not pick a new pickaxe. He just quietly used his hand hoe a bit away from the other people.
It was very pitiful.
But there was no reason to feel pity. Today will be the last day to see him like this.
I headed over to Jonnan and put my hand on his shoulder.
“Now it is senior Jonnan’s turn.”
“What do you mean by my turn?”
Jonnan looked toward me.
But his gaze still had no strength.
“I will remove Akto’s curse for you.”
“Gasp! What did you just say?”
Jonnan was so shocked his eyes were the size of lamp posts. Even his shoulder flinched very hard.
It was not just Jonnan. Even Batoom and Goultan, who were swinging their pickaxes nearby, ran over in shock.
“What? Remove Akto’s curse?”
“Is that for real?”
Of course these two knew about it. In fact, they were probably more regretful than Jonnan. At one point, the three of them were the closest of friends.
But once Jonnan became like this, they naturally started to drift away. It wasn’t Batoom or Goultan, but Jonnan himself who created the distance.
“Please share Akto’s Test with me. I will complete the test and remove the curse as well.”
“I can’t do that. Akto’s Test is not something anyone can pass. It is a test made by a terrible dwarf that was overcome by the demonic aura to destroy humans.”
Jonnan does not know much about my abilities. The Owl’s Eye, combo. I didn’t really have a reason to let him know.
“I know the method to pass the test. So please give it to me.”
“Is that …… really the truth? You must really think hard about this. I was as strong as you when I was young like you. But I became like this instantly because of Akto’s curse. If you fail, you’ll end up like me.”
I still needed to do it.
Not for Jonnan, but for myself. Akto’s Test has a reward that I really need.
At least among the information I have, you can only earn it through Akto’s Test. And the only way to take that test is by getting Jonnan to share it with you.
I reached my hand out to Jonnan.
“I know. So please give it to me.”
“You really won’t regret it? Please think it over one more time.”
I answered as I reached my arm further and grabbed Jonnan’s hand.
Jonnan finally let out a sigh as he shared the test.
<You have become a party member for Akto’s Test Quest.Please pass Akto’s Test with your party members.
Should you succeed, you will receive the reward that Akto has prepared.>
Now I just need to walk into the mine. Then Akto’s soul will show up and open the path to the Demon’s Cave.
Let’s rest a bit first. Once Akto’s Test starts, I will not be able to rest for at least a day.
Early next morning.
Jonnan grabbed my wrist.
“You can still give up. No matter how much I think about it, this is not it.”
“I am not being dragged there. I am doing it because I want to.”
‘Just watch. See how I change from the moment I enter to the moment I leave.’
I did not say that last part. That’s the type of thing to show through my action, not through my words.
Instead, I turned on the magic light on my helmet.
“The magic light will not be useful. It will be better to close your eyes.”
I also know about that. But I am just pretending to use this in order to trick Akto.
“I understand. Then, I shall be on my way.”
I waved lightly as I entered the mine. I walked alone toward the deepest part of the mine to the Demon’s Cave.
How much did I walk for?
<You are the person who threw in a challenge to my test. Kuhahaha.>
A voice that rang in my ear. I could not tell where it was coming from.
<Where are you looking? I am over here.>
This time, I heard the voice coming from behind me.
I turned my head.
At the same time, there was a FLASH! And a bright light flashed. It was so bright that it was hurting my eyes.
The magic light on the helmet went out as well. Once Akto’s Test begins, all magic tools lose their abilities.
<Hahat. First test. Within the next 10 minutes, mine 5 different minerals. Of those 5, titanium, saleeite, and thorium must be included.
If you succeed, I will bless you, but if you fail, I will place a terrible curse on you.
5 seconds have already passed. Muhahaha.>
Blindness from the sudden flash of light. The loss of the magic light.
To mine in such a situation. Also, to need five different types of minerals.
Even the most talented of miners would find it impossible. That is why Jonnan failed from this first test as well.
But it was a really easy test for me.
I stopped pretending to be blind and started to swing my pickaxe.
Clang. Clang. Clang.
<You’ve gained 1 bar of titanium.>
<You’ve gained 1 bar of thorium.>
To gather five types of minerals, I didn’t need 10, no I didn’t even need 5 minutes.
I could hear some nervousness in Akto’s voice that continued.
<Wha, what? You can see?>
There is no reason for me to help resolve his confusion. I just need to pass the test.
Since I did not answer, he just came to his own conclusion.
A very accurate conclusion at that.
<Do you perhaps have the Owl’s Eye? Hmm. That seems to be the case.
As promised, I will give you a blessing. Enough intuition to pierce through the darkness.>
<Intuition has increased by 30 points.>
<No reason to be happy. You think that is enough to pass my test?
Here is the second test.
Defeat these things and survive. Then I will give you one of the blacksmith skills that I possess.
Although it is probably impossible for a miner like you. Muhaha.>
Akto’s laughter was extremely loud.
At the same time, I heard the earth rumbling as if there was an earthquake. It felt like something large was headed my way.
I started to smirk.
Deathworm! Two of them at that!
Does Akto know exactly what he has done?
I should start showing him.
‘Thank you Akto. I will enjoy this meal.’
It is now time to use the thing I have been saving until now.
I took out an item I had been saving for a while out of my bag.
[Drake’s TBSA Textbook]
Teaches you the foundation for TBSA.
Instruction Time: 1 year
Last chapter for the week.
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Translator : Miraclerifle
Proofreader : Miraclerifle