Chapter 17 - Deal

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“I refuse.” Su Jin turned down the God in a resolute voice without any hesitation.

The God froze for a moment before his entire face turned black and a flood of sparkles flowed out from his eyes, nose, mouth, and ears, forming a menacing face above Auntie Li’s head. The face roared angrily at Su Jin, “Are you taking me for a fool? How dare you play a God! How dare you!”

“Relax! Calm down!” Su Jin quickly waved his arms at the God and said with a laugh, “Why are you so upset? I’m just not happy with the terms. I didn’t say I’m definitely not working with you.”

“What… what do you mean?” The God was a little confused by Su Jin. Even though a God was supposed to be at a much higher level compared to humans, he was now confounded by a lowly human.

“It’s simple. I don’t mind working with you, but I want better terms. Get it now? If you want me on your team, you’ve got to show some sincerity,” said Su Jin with a shrug. 1

The God fell silent for a moment before he nodded and said, “Fine! You’re a talented man after all. In that case, I can make you my ambassador and my evangelist, which will allow you to use my power.”

“If that’s all there is to your sincerity, then I think we don’t have to waste time on this anymore. I believe your terms last night were also for me to become your ambassador and evangelist. I gave you a whole day to think about it, but your terms are still just as dissatisfactory.” The smile on Su Jin’s face faded.

“Lowly human, do not anger me!” said the God in a stern voice as he made himself seem even more imposing in hope of frightening Su Jin into submission.

But Su Jin didn’t budge at all. He glanced at the God and said, “What’s happened? It’s been only one day, and you’ve become so much weaker already? Didn’t you use these sparkles of yours to physically pressurize me into complying? So now you’re only able to threaten me with a mean face?”

“Why, you!” Su Jin’s words made the God furious, but he no longer looked as imposing now. The God finally admitted defeat when he saw that Su Jin looked completely unbothered.

“Fine, greedy human. What do you want?”

Su Jin started smiling again when he heard this question. He had already expected this to happen before coming here. Since an Elder God could be suppressed by enough ordinary human members of the other major religions, it was clear that this God had lost a lot of his power. Also, last night, the God had been unable to break through and turn the tables on them. That was proof of how weak this God was. If this God weren’t so weak, Su Jin wouldn’t be behaving this way even though he was now a lot stronger than before.

“These two things were created by you, so could you certify them for me first?” Su Jin took out the boning knife and the longbow. He didn’t use his points to certify the longbow because he figured that he could get the God to do it instead. Points were very precious, so he wanted to save them when he could.

The God didn’t refuse and waved his arm. The two items now had a golden glow around them.

“Done. But let me make this clear. I made these two items and that’s why I’m able to certify them. If you have other items that need to be certified or appraised, don’t ask me to do it. Besides their creators, only Hell’s Handbook can do it,” the God said to Su Jin.

Su Jin nodded. He picked up the boning knife and the longbow, but they didn’t seem any different at one glance. After thinking about it, he decided to keep the boning knife inside the Handbook. Once he did that, a string of text appeared below the boning knife.

“Demon Lord's Boning Knife. It is a very sharp knife that can cut through most materials. Accompanying skill: Attack of the Demon Lord. Requires 50 Spirit Power. When used, a breaking effect may be activated, and it will cut through any object in the way.”

“This … this is seriously like an MMORPG!” Even though Su Jin had expected some changes to occur after it had been certified, he didn’t expect to change so specifically. Also, he was very bothered by the fact that it required 50 Spirit Power points.

He picked up the long bow and kept it inside his Handbook as well. A few lines of text quickly appeared below it.

“Demon Lord’s Longbow. A longbow made by the Demon Lord; it is capable of launching a very powerful attack. Accompanying skill: Roar of the Demon Lord. Requires 100 Dark Spirit Power. Shooting a Demon Lord’s Arrow from the Longbow will give the Arrow destructive power that can swallow anything it touches within a certain radius.”

Su Jin had experienced that Roar of the Demon Lord skill personally. Just a tiny bit had touched him, and his entire left arm disappeared. If he had been hit by that arrow completely, he would have literally vanished into thin air.

“There’s Spirit Power and there’s also Dark Spirit Power? So, there are different types of Spirit Power?” Su Jin had noticed the differences in the description of the two items. The Boning Knife only mentioned Spirit Power, but the Demon Lord’s Longbow specifically mentioned that it required Dark Spirit Power.

“Can you tell me a little more about Spirit Power?” The God in front of him right now was one who had been greatly weakened over the years, but he definitely knew a lot of things, so there was no reason why he wouldn’t know anything about Spirit Power.

The God nodded and said, “As the owner of a Handbook, you would want to survive the challenges for as long as you can, and Spirit Power will become the most important thing to you. There are many ways to activate Spirit Power. You can push your limits, go through special training, receive an anointing from someone and… through your faith!”

“Interesting. Is that why you helped me to certify the items without any question? You wanted me to become one of your devotees, huh,” said Su Jin with a smile.

“This is the best option for both of us. If you choose to become one of my devotees, I can help you to activate your Spirit Power immediately and it would be at a high level as well. That way, you will be able to use the Demon Lord’s Longbow right away. Believe me, with this Spirit Power, you will become much more powerful, even more powerful than most veterans. That’s the only way you’d get a chance to survive. Only then will you be able to help me.” The God continued his sales pitch desperately in hope that Su Jin would agree to become a believer immediately.

“No, I still refuse.” Su Jin turned down the God’s request again without hesitation. “I will not become a believer of anyone. I don’t care if you’re a God or not.”

“Your stubbornness will not do your chances of survival any good,” spat the God hatefully. He took a while to calm down and said in a more agreeable tone of voice, “Fine! Since you won’t become one of my devotees, then what else can I do for you?”

“You can activate my Spirit Power!”

“Are you deaf? I just said that I can only do that if you become one of my devotees! If you refuse to do that, then there’s nothing I can do.”

“Didn’t you mention some other methods? What did you say? Push my limits? Special training? Getting anointed? We can try one of those instead! I can take it!”

“Time is the problem. There isn’t enough time. Besides being anointed, the other two methods require a lot of time. I have to go into a deep sleep soon and I don’t have the time to do any of these,” said the God helplessly.

“We’ll go with the anointing thing then!”

“Heh heh… if you wish to do so, I don’t mind,” said the God as he laughed a little too happily.

A thought hit Su Jin. “If you anoint me, I’ll become one of your devotees. Is that what will happen?”

“Of course. I’m a God, so I carry that sort of divine power. Another powerful being might be able to pass their power on to another person through anointing without affecting the anointed, but I’m different. As long as you accept power from me, you will be turned into one of my devotees. This is an inevitable part of it,” said the God.

“What a useless God.” Su Jin shook his head and thought some more. “Are there any substitutes for Spirit Power?”

“Substitutes for Spirit Power? No, there aren’t any. Spirit Power is a unique magical power, so there’s no way anything can replace it.” The God shook his head and was very certain in this reply to Su Jin’s question.

Su Jin was getting a little frustrated now. The two items he had on hand could have been his best weapons for future challenges, but if he couldn’t use them, then they were worthless to him.

“Let’s put it another way. Is there any way I can use these two weapons without having any Spirit Power?” Su Jin decided to try asking from a different angle.

The God paused for a while before nodding. “If all you want is to use these two weapons, I do have a way of doing that. I can create a Spirit Power battery that can store my power and you can use it whenever you need to.”

“Phew!” Su Jin exhaled deeply. “I’ll take that then!”

“Humph! You’ve been asking me for a lot, but I thought we were supposed to be working together. Shouldn’t we benefit equally from this deal?” said the God.

“Of course. Tell me what you want then!” Su Jin nodded in agreement.

“Freedom! I want freedom! Let me out from the challenge that this damned Handbook created!!” The God was practically bellowing these words out in fury.

Su Jin covered his ears and waited for the God to finish his rant. He frowned and asked, “How do I do that?”

“I don’t know!” replied the God immediately. When he saw the bewildered look on Su Jin’s face, he quickly explained, “The Handbook is not some robot that remains the same all the time. Even if I had found a method of escaping before, it wouldn’t work now! So, I need you to find a new way of setting me free!”

“This will be very tough, but I will try my best.” Su Jin nodded and didn’t look like he was going to negotiate with the God.

That made the God very surprised. From his observations, even if Su Jin were willing to help him, Su Jin would definitely come up with a long list of conditions and be willing to help only after he had benefitted sufficiently.

“You’re not going to make any requests?”

“I need you to understand one thing. The higher my chances of surviving, the higher your chances of attaining freedom. I believe this chance is very hard to come by for you and I don’t know when you’ll find such a chance again if you miss it this time. If you continue to treat this whole thing as a deal and try to negotiate with me all the time, the one on the losing end is yourself,” said Su Jin calmly with a faint smile on his face.

The God fell silent for a while before nodding. “That’s right, you’re my chance… I might never have a chance like that again. I wasn’t just lucky that you’ve come by. The stars must have aligned themselves last night for this to happen. I can’t miss this chance.”

Su Jin narrowed his eyes slightly. He could tell right from the start that this God seemed to think very highly of him, but that was a strange thing in itself. He was pretty sure that there must have been more than one person willing to strike a deal with this God in the past, so why did this God think so highly of him?

He didn’t know the reason, but since they were going to work together, it was better that the God thought as highly of him as possible!

“Wait here for a while, there’s something I have to pass on to you.” The God then turned to return to his room.

  1. Mans literally bargaining with a frigging Elder God. ABSOLUTE CHAD. ↩️

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