The whole process of the National Competition was possible to do inside Satisfy.
But the Korean government invited the players to South Korea for the purpose of attracting tourists and decided to take some events offline, including the opening ceremony. The result was a great success. Since the number of foreign tourists visiting Korea was close to 800,000, the economic effect created was expected to exceed the estimates of the Korean government.
"Thanks to this, the authority of the S.A. Group has risen."
There were already many countries asking to be selected as the next host for the National Competition. The S.A. Group executives confirmed that the share prices had skyrocketed and made a toast.
"It is a win-win."
The South Korean government was able to host the National Competition with the support of the S.A. Group, and they achieved high economic growth and gained overwhelming support from the public.
The S.A. Group's stock prices rose and they could show an overwhelming influence. According to their policy of 'returning 3.6% of the profits to society,' the size of their charity businesses could be expanded and the number of poor people who benefited increased.
Rankers received an astronomical amount of money in exchange for visiting Korea, and billions of people around the world were provided with great entertainment. It was ideal for everyone, so it was understandable why they were laughing.
Satisfy was satisfying the world, like Lim Cheolho intended when he named it.
"I feel rewarded."
Just like the gods created a world where everyone could be happy, the scientist was creating a world where everyone could be happy. Lim Cheolho created a virtual reality world with no limits.
He reached the point where he would leave his name in history as a transcendent scientist.
"There really are a lot of beautiful ladies. Their slim bodies are to my taste."
Pon was feeling very good.
Thanks to this National Competition, he got a chance to play PvP with top ranking players, got a lot of money, and was also exposed to Oriental beauties. It was the feeling of walking on clouds.
"Girl, would you like to have a drink with me? I'll buy you expensive liquor, so spend some time with me."
Pon was just as handsome as he was in Satisfy, so he was confident as he weaved through the streets. Despite his cheesy words in awkward English, he easily caught women.
Jishuka was sitting at a cafe terrace and was startled at the sight of him.
'Is that Pon?' In L.T.S and Satisfy, Pon had never shown any interest in the opposite sex. Except when he was childishly fighting with Vantner, he was an exemplary person who only focused on fighting and levelling up.
Jishuka was embarrassed by his completely different personality in reality.
"I've known him for over three years already, but I didn't realize he was a guy like this."
Regas smiled at her from where he was sitting beside her and enjoying a parfait, "He's so busy in Satisfy that he doesn't have time for anything else, but he can relax as much as he wants in reality. There are quite a few rankers who are experiencing such a phenomenon."
"A plausible logic... Huh?
Jishuka nodded and belatedly saw what Regas was wearing.
"What are you? Since when have you been wearing Taekwondo clothing?"
"I was wearing it since coming to South Korea? Jishuka, what? Why aren't you aware of the attire of a person who has been with you for hours? What are you thinking about that made you so preoccupied?"
Jishuka hissed at him without answering.
"Change your clothes. It's fine when the three of us are together, but your clothes are very eye catching."
In fact, there were countless people crowded around Jishuka and Regas. The crowd wanted to get autographs and photos from both of them. But would Satisfy's top rankers, who made enough money to represent a single company, go without guards? The two people were able to enjoy themselves without worrying about the crowd due to being attended by 10 security guards.
"If I don't wear Taekwondo clothing in a Taekwondo country, what should I wear?"
Jishuka was shocked by Regas words and don't bother trying to persuade him anymore.
"Yes, yes, do your own thing and eat the parfait."
The way Jishuka saw it, there were two types of men.
Childish or wicked.
'Grid is childish and wicked...'
Her first impression of Grid was the worst. He was stupid, stubborn, and only cared about big breasts.
However, he started to mentally mature at some point and that wickedness even left after marrying Irene. He was single-mindedly devoted to Irene and wasn't swayed when he saw Jishuka's big breasts anymore.
Was it because she witnessed the process of extreme change in real time? One day, Jishuka's eyes were chasing after Grid. After she was saved at a crucial moment in the Bairan battle, she became fully aware of Grid. But the Grid she saw was just a picture in Satisfy. She didn't know how he would look like in reality.
'If I actually meet Grid... I'm afraid he will be like Pon.'
Would she be disappointed? Still, it was okay.
'I'm in South Korea and have a chance to meet him. Yes, I've decided.'
Jishuka stood up. The men shouted as her voluptuous body, hidden by the chair, was revealed.
"I'm going back to the hotel."
"Why all of a sudden? This is the first time you are in South Korea, so shouldn't you go sightseeing?"
"I can come back to South Korea at any time, right now I want to connect to Satisfy."
"That's a good attitude." Regas suddenly looked very motivated as he got up from his seat after Jishuka. "Every moment is essential. Okay! Let's hunt and level up during our free time! In any case, both of us don't have anything on the tournament schedule today."
"You can level up alone. I am going to connect to ask for Grid's home address."
Regas questioned her, "Home address? Are you going to go there? Isn't it possible to naturally meet Grid if our schedules overlap? Isn't his ID on the list of participants? Why do you need to go visit his home? It's bad manners."
"Grid didn't even participate in the opening ceremony. Maybe he won't show up at all in this competition."
Jishuka hurried away after saying this.
'She is quite different from usual.'
He didn't know why. Regas shrugged and followed behind her with the bodyguards.
Pon was about to enter a store with five beauties when he noticed Jishuka and Regas.
'Are they going to level up?'
Rankings could fall quickly if a person was careless. Wouldn't his playing time shrink significantly in Korea? Pon's vigilance awakened as he left the beauties and followed the two people.
"Pant... Pant... I've finally arrived."
He flew, drank potions, flew again, descended when his potion cooldown time wasn't over, flew again and repeated until Grid reached Cork Island.
'The good thing is that my persistence stat rose.'
He had flown for 46 hours without stopping, so his stamina had been exhausted several times. He had been tempted to rest a few times, but he didn't want to miss Hell Gao's spawning time. It was a hard journey that exceeded a triathlon, but he endured and was able to arrive at this place on time.
'I feel good.' He felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment. It wasn't a material gain, but the sense of accomplishment was comparable to making a high rated item. 'The sense of fullness I feel when I exceed my limits... Is this the reason why people climb mountains or do a marathon? I should climb the mountain in front of my house tomorrow.'
Grid flew in the sky with a refreshed expression. He looked over the island.
Cork Island was one quarter the size of Jeju Island. It wasn't a small island and the climate was mild, so the city built in the center of the island was very developed.
'This is a level similar to Bairan... The population of the island should be in the tens of thousands? Aren't there a lot of useful hunting grounds and specialties?'
Grid descended to the ground and entered the city. Thanks to the Hooded Zip Up, he didn't need to check in and could naturally emerge in the crowd. Then he stopped at a restaurant just before Hell Gao's dungeon in order to fill up his hunger.
"Turtle and whale meat? I've never tried it. Is it delicious?"
The restaurant owner confidently gave Grid a recommendation.
"Of course it's delicious. It is a delicacy to eat turtle and whale at the same time. You should try it."
He asked NPCs questions and responded the way they wanted in order to build up affinity. The most efficient way to built up affinity with a merchant NPC was to buy a lot of their merchandise.
The warrior Grid didn't know even these basics. He built up affinity by interacting with them for a long time. But Grid now had a strong colleague called Huroi. For the several months after the sylphid scales incident, he spent a lot of time with Huroi and learned how to build up affinity with NPCs.
"I believe in you and will try the turtle and whale meat. Please give me a plate of turtle and whale meat... Yes! Just give me the food that represents this island! Let's eat double portions today!"
"Ohh, a broad-hearted young man! Okay, I understand! I will bring you well-cooked duck!"
Grid liked grilled dishes, stir-fried dishes, fried foods and hot pot. But most of the food in the north of the Eternal Kingdom was steamed food, which didn't fit Grid's taste.
'Since I've moved to the north, I haven't felt the fun of eating food for a while...'
The menu of the restaurant on Cork Island was mainly fried and grilled dishes.
'I will eat until I'm satisfied!'
Grid drooled as he waited for food. Then the owner brought out the food. Due to Grid's high stamina and persistence stats, his stomach was huge and he could eat a lot. The restaurant owner's eyes widened as he saw Grid emptying the food.
"Eating enough food for three people at once... Great."
'In this case...'
What would Huroi do now? Grid thought before saying with a smile.
"I'm not usually like this, but your excellent cooking made me overeat."
Grid's high dignity gave a sense of oppression to the target, but it could also inspire liking in them. Wasn't it natural for him to give off a charming and polite atmosphere? The owner of the restaurant was instantly fascinated by Grid.
"You look like a traveller, so why did you come to Cork Island?"
'I have succeeded.'
Grid responded to the owner's curious and favorable eyes, "I came to see the monster who is the owner of hellfire. Can you tell me where the dungeon is located?"
"No, are you talking about Hell Gao?" The restaurant owner was aghast. "The dungeon he appears in is located in the north of the city... No, I can't understand it. Why do you want to see him? Isn't it an act of suicide?"
"Is he that strong?"
The restaurant owner trembled and explained.
"He is the demon who ruled this island perfectly and fed on my ancestors. Legend has it that the number of people sacrificed to him was in the thousands... One day, Muller appeared and turned his body to ashes, but Hell Gao still occasionally pops up because his soul can't be sealed. The residents are nervous every day that he will be completely resurrected and will turn this island into a living hell."
There were too many ambiguous words.
'Is this the precursor to a quest? Surely he isn't going to ask me to seal Hell Gao's soul that even Muller couldn't seal?'
It was ridiculous. The restaurant owner gave some advice to Grid, who was belatedly regretting it.
"The demon's black flame is hotter than the jade flames of most demons, so you must be careful. If you go to 'Ellen' who lives on the south side of the city and say that I sent you, she will paint your armor with fire stone dyes... Before going to Hell Gao, I recommend that you meet Ellen Halmand to increase your fire resistance."
"Dyes made from fire stones?"
Grid was interested and immediately rose from his spot. He asked the restaurant owner in detail for the position of Ellen's house and headed straight there.
Ellen was a kind person. She heard his situation and gladly welcomed Grid. Then she pointed to the large basin in her backyard.
"It isn't that great, since it is a dye made from the fire stones. I just dip the fire stone in water mixed with my own recipe."
The big basin contained one fire stone the size of a baby's fist. But that one small fossil turned all the water in the basin red. Ellen explained to Grid, "It isn't just a color change. Armors or clothes dyed with this will obtain increased fire resistance because they are tinted with fire."
Grid pulled out the Holy Light armor and gloves.
"The material of the gloves are cloth, so they can be easily stained. But this armor is made of mithril, can it be dyed?"
Ellen easily nodded.
"Fire stones are the symbol of fusion... They can mix with anything."
As expected of a rare mineral used in magic items.
'My status immunity means I can't be burned, but this can prevent additional damage caused by the fire itself. Braham's Boots are black so the red color will match well with it... Good.'
Grid politely asked. "Can you please dye this armor and gloves?"
Ellen easily nodded. "I understand. I will dye it well if you pay me 500 gold."
Grid thought that Ellen was a hidden NPC. He believed it was an opportunity to get free benefits because of his affinity with the restaurant owner. Yet she was asking for money? As Grid was feeling confused, other users started to arrive at Ellen's house.
"Are you Grandmother Ellen? I heard about you from the grandmother at the grocery store."
"I heard about you from the blacksmith. You can increase my fire resistance?"
Grid looked at this and quickly realized.
'The tip that the restaurant owner gave me wasn't special.'
Ellen wasn't a hidden NPC. She was a mere trader, and the Cork Island residents were skilled at soliciting customers for her.
'The world is truly tough.'
Grid pulled out 500 gold with trembling hands. It wasn't bad to think of it as 500 gold to give extra options to two items. He couldn't know the numerical value of the additional options.