Chapter 12. Mammonism
So he was hiding there.
Bruno revealed his violent aura towards the enemy that was hidden behind the wooden pillar.
An attack strong enough to instantly break a cow’s neckbone smashed the enemy’s head. The enemy must’ve thought that he hid himself well, but. It was impossible to escape Bruno, a being who had an extremely developed nose.
The pillar crashed and a cloud of dust rose up into the air. The enemy was helplessly smashed by the power of Bruno’s attack.
Bruno clicked his tongue and stopped walking. He had realized that what he had hit was, in fact, a mannequin dressed in casual clothing. Jin, who had been watching from afar, smiled. This was one of the many ways that his power could be used.
The method was quite simple.
1. Imbue his smell on to clothes and put it on a mannequin.
2. Put an extremely high price on the mannequin and put it on the market.
3. When needed, cancel the sales order on the market.
Because the object hadn’t been sold due to its price, it would reappear where it previously existed. Jin was testing out this feature in live combat right now. Well, if he was just testing this one thing, Bruno would’ve already died by now due to the blunder. Bruno realized that he had been tricked and began to shout in anger.
“I have become stronger! Much stronger! Much, much stronger!!!”
He was a natural born predator. He didn’t have to work hard to make others submit. Others submitted themselves in front of him and he just needed to search for women and alcohol. He was a king that was recognized by the heavens itself. But to think that his enemy would treat him like a fool. The fact that he was weak enough to be tricked by something as simple as this made Bruno angry enough to explode.
“Where are you?! Where are you hiding?! Damn coward!!”
Bruno destroyed everything in front of him as he chased the ‘scent’. It was hard to get rid of one’s habits, even if he had learned that it wasn’t a good one. Because of that, Bruno almost fell into Jin’s second trap, but…
Bruno wasn’t an idiot. He knew that he was being led by his nose, so he learned to counter it. Bruno found the real one ‘who had a status screen’, and opened his mouth. His artificial jaw opened up and grew big enough to fit a human head inside it. Rows of teeth from Bruno’s victims revealed themselves on the roof of his mouth. The teeth were able to crush just about anything that came into contact with it. This was the physical capability that Bruno had attained by coming into this world.
‘This is the end!’
But right before he could swallow Jin’s head----.
Something peculiar happened. His trademark brown hair ruffled in the wind. His head that had been ripped off was flying in the empty space around him.
Bang. The head fell on the ground and slowly came to a rolling stop. Bruno looked up at his headless body in stupefaction.
His neck began to spray out an immense amount of blood. It stood still for quite a while until it dropped down unto its knees. The impact caused Bruno’s head to begin rolling again.
He was desperately clinging to his life using the life force he had taken from his victims, but even that was running out now.
The rolling head stopped moving again. Bruno, while feeling a little sick from all the rolling, couldn’t help but notice something stuck on the wall.
‘A canine tooth...?’
The tooth wasn’t his. It wasn’t one of his victims’, either. After all, the ones he collected were all molars. He could only think of a single possibility.
‘He broke his own canine with his tongue and spat it out like a blowdart? Such an idiotic…!’
He tried to shout out that it was all just nonsense, but no sound was coming from his mouth.
“I… a king… at a place like this…!”
His eyes lost vitality. Eventually, a dark curtain was cast over his vision.The short life of the man-eating lion had come to an end.
Taking care of powers that could grow endlessly was top-priority. Even if it wasn’t me, the man would’ve been taken care of by the others anyway. Competitions between strong individuals happened in any society, at any time, after all. Extreme amounts of luck is needed for an ability like this to thrive. I suppose it can be summarized by saying that he didn’t have “plot armor”. I began to dig through the body of my unfortunate victim.
<Acquired [White Gold Round Diamond Ring].>
<Acquired [Oyster Perpetual Rolex Watch].>
The two jewelry items that I found were respectively priced at 6,000 dollars and 5,000 dollars each. I immediately sold it in the market.
The sound effect of money piling up rang in my head.
[Current funds: 11,500 dollars]
The amount of cash in my wallet slowly came to a stop and a little chiptune played in my head.
<Level up! [Heart of Gold (Lv.1)] has become [Heart of Gold (Lv.2)].>
An extra message popped up at the bottom.
<Gained a new ability.>
I don’t have many expectations… but let’s check it out, shall we?
[Gold Achieves All = Heart of Gold]
- An ability to buy anything with money.
- [Lv.1] Trade (Buy, Sell)
- [Lv.2] Purchase (Luck, Talent, Appearance, Charm, Health, Skill, Knowledge, Information, Ability, Life)
I lost the ability to speak. Truly, gold achieved all. To think I could buy something like this…
I now understood. If level 1 dealt with material goods, level 2 dealt with conceptual goods. I took a look at my new ability as I walked.
- Your luck stat is currently 1.
- You can pull one joker card out of one hundred tries.
- You need ten million dollars to increase this stat by one.
Ten million…? So if I have a billion dollars, I’d get a chance to pull out a joker card for one hundred percent of my tries? Pretty much a cheat, isn’t it. After all, it would be possible to recover all money lost in a casino. In any case, I suppose it would be wise to keep myself away from this for now. It’d be better if I increased it after getting the money for it.
- If unbeatable talent is a stat of 100, it requires one million dollars to increase the stat by one.
[> Sword Talent]
[ Art Talent]
[ Acting Talent]
The list seemed to have no end. I’ll take a look at it later in the future, I guess. As for [Looks] and [Charm]... Hold on.
It’s possible to increase my height? Maybe it’s possible to grow hair as well? What can’t you do with money? I clicked the category next to those two as I was marveling at the usefulness of cash.
- The stats that you purchase with money is no different from the stats you gain through training.
[> Health: 10,000 dollars]
[ Mana: 20,000 dollars] [ ! ]
[ Attack: 100,000 dollars]
[ Incantation: 200,000 dollars]
[ HP Regen: 1,000,000 dollars]
[ MP Regen: 2,000,000 dollars]
[ Defense: 1,000,000 dollars]
[ Magic Resistance: 2,000,000 dollars]
I can buy stuff like this, too? I tried clicking on the stat that had the exclamation mark next to it.
- You cannot collect mana.
Oh dear. So I can’t buy mana? What about the others…
- Force is mass times acceleration. If you increase your attack, you will be able to accelerate faster. There is no need to increase agility if you increase this stat.
There was no need to get something like this. My attack was 52 right now. Adding one onto it wouldn’t change much. I clicked the next category.
- Starting from pen spinning to tap dancing, any skill you might desire is listed here.
[> Vocal Mimicry: 500 dollars]
[ Pickpocketing: 1000 dollars]
[ Lockpicking: 1200 dollars]
[ Trap Disarming: 3000 dollars]
I guess I can look at this later as well. What’s [Information]? Is it different from [Knowledge]?
- A trained professional will be hired to find the information you want. Please type your request in the box below.
A search engine… No, a detective agency, huh. There were two categories left. [Ability] and [Life].
- Supernatural abilities, incantations, magic, martial arts, it is possible to buy any ability in the multiverse.
[> Disturbing Blessing: 35,000,000 dollars]
[ Heavenly Demon Technique: 50,000,000 dollars]
[ Red Lotus Dominion: 11,000,000 dollars]
[ A Thousand Thunderbirds: 83,000,000 dollars]
[ Phase Shift: 12,000,000,000,000 dollars]
There’s no end to it. No matter how much I scrolled, the list just didn’t end. This place probably has more than a million abilities. Maybe even more than a trillion. I took my hand off the scrollbar and listed the abilities by their price, from low to high.
[> Boiling Blood: 10,000 dollars]
[ Endless Swamp: 30,000 dollars]
[ Poison Transmission: 50,000 dollars]
The cheapest one was ten thousand dollars…
That was the only thing I could buy at the moment. Should I collect more money, or should I just buy it?
I suppose I should just try buying it. I need to figure out what it does. I tried clicking [Boiling Blood].
- Rank: F-
- An ability that increases physical capabilities by rapidly heating up blood. Spends ten percent of your current health.
Pretty good. I think I can synergize it with a different ability as well.
<You’ve selected [Boiling Blood]. Will you purchase it? Y/N>
Of course it’s a yes.
<Gained a new ability.>
I had 1500 dollars left now.
My body became enveloped in light. Once the light disappeared, I had the knowledge on how to use Boiling Blood. As I thought. So this is how it worked. There didn’t seem to be a lot of risks other than the fact that I lose a bit of health. I tried taking a look at the [Life] category.
‘Buying and selling’ life…
- Coin continue. It is possible for you to have extra lives, just like a retro game character. Even if you die, you can respawn right where you died!
- Lives left: <3
- Price: 10,000,000,000 dollars.
10 billion...? Human lives were that expensive? It’s amazing, but… After thinking a bit, I ended up laughing to myself. I didn’t even have the money. Is there any point in thinking about it? I guess I’ll just focus on my current task.
Now, it’s time to hunt the Nail Hunter. I was tracking her location with the floating eye. I turned eastward and took a look at the Nail Hunter. She was currently residing inside Slenderman’s starting place with a pale face, inside the steel door.
She’s like a spider, huh.
She stuck herself on the inner walls using her bladed nails. I suppose she was planning to cut off my head if I came in to investigate. Slenderman was hidden in the swamps, observing the situation. I suppose he was planning to attack as I fought the Nail Hunter. So the only person who knows how to use her head is the Nail Hunter, huh. She knew the importance of information and stayed calm even under extreme stress. As soon as she understood that she couldn’t win, she moved towards Slenderman’s location. Of course, they weren’t allying with each other or anything. After all, they had never talked to each other before. After observing Slenderman for four days, I came to the conclusion that he was pretty much mute. But since he knew that ‘it was disadvantageous to fight first’, he would try to avoid fighting. He’d conserve as much strength as possible until it ended up becoming a 1v1. Nail Hunter knew this as well, hence the reason why she moved east.
But results aren’t everything. They might’ve thought that they had hidden themselves well, but with my floating eye, they might as well have been in the palm of my hand. I activated Heart of Gold in front of the entrance of Nail Hunter’s hiding spot. I had prepared something in case this happened. I had wrapped a piece of styrofoam with a t-shirt and drenched it with lighter fluid. I took out a lighter as well and lit it on fire. Now that it’s on fire… shoot!
The ball of flames let out a plume of smoke as it entered the other side of the door. A few moments later, Nail Hunter shot out of the door with a few coughs. If I could use my hands, it would’ve ended here, but… Nail Hunter glared at me viciously. But that glare soon turned into a look of confusion and happiness.
Her voice was mixed with happiness and surprise.
Slenderman still wasn’t moving.
“Oh my god! It’s for real!! U-um, nice to meet you! I’m Kirisaki Hatsume (霧崎初芽)!”
I knew her. High school murderer, Kirisaki Hatsume. She was famous for targeting high school girls and taking their fingernails. That’s why she was called the Nail Hunter. She probably knew a lot about me as well.
“Your name is Jin? I’m a Jin (じん) as well! You won’t go easy on me, right? Right? Kyahaha! So funny! What am I saying?!”
Jin, as in human (人)? Or Jin (刃) as in the one in her name, Hatsume (切割刃爪)? She acted friendly around me as she used her bladed foot to aim for my neck. A commendable effort. It was a sneaky attack that made use of her long reach. I leaned sideways and dodged the attack.
Since the sword on her foot could change its angle as it moved, I leaned a little more than usual.
If I tried to just barely dodge it because she was weak, I’d get my neck cut off. I only knew this because I invested time in analyzing her.
Her five bladed fingers came at me even before her foot landed. The back of her hand was covered to the brim with fingernails.
The nails on her glove instantly turned into fifty blades.
A steel flower of death! The nails that turned into various types of blades all bunched up together and came at me. If I had thought that her ability was to turn her body into blades, I would’ve gotten the impression that only her body parts could be weaponized. But since I already knew about her ability, I could easily dodge her attacks.
The attack was blocked by a shield that I had created.
“...Hah? What the hell is this?”
There was confusion on her face. Of course. Her best attempt to kill me was just foiled by a piece of furniture. A broken refrigerator that I bought for a hundred dollars. The Nail Hunter’s shoulders lost all strength.
That was it.
[Boiling Blood] activate.
I spun my body. I put my left foot down on the concrete below me, which broke under the impact, and the left foot that hit the refrigerator caused the fridge to crumple.
The blades stuck to the refrigerator broke into pieces from the impact. Soon after, the 150 kg fridge struck the Nail Hunter at an inhuman speed. A loud boom sounded throughout the complex.
The audience screamed from the shock that shook the building. So this was the Boiling Blood’s power…?
Pieces of stone fell off the destroyed walls. As the dust settled, the remnants of my attack showed itself.
Blood was flowing below the fridge. Her upper body had been crushed like a tomato,only her legs seemed to be intact at this point. I would’ve taken care of it in a much cleaner fashion if I could use my hands…
I turned around, feeling a little regretful at my inability.