6 Candy?

"This thing?"

[ Affirmative. ]

Receiving the quill's confirmation, Chrome took out the last mystery left in the chest only for it to suddenly disappear. Keeping his attention focused on the red metal cube, his initial question re-emerged in his mind once more. How was this thing even related to candy?

"How does it work?"

[ The Palace Master just needs to find the button placed on one of the faces, pressing it and placing the cube on the ground will reveal its true form. ]

"Oh."

It was only then that Chrome noticed a very tiny black button on the left side. A cool wave of air rose from inside the cube as soon as he clicked it, giving the impression that it was changing into something else.

"Is this… A transformer of some sort?"

Looking at the cube that started unfolding into something much bigger in a very satisfying manner, Chrome blurted out an unrealistic question as his thoughts pointed at the contrast. No matter how he looked at it, this machine seemed too futuristic in comparison to the ancient chest that came out from… Not to mention this medieval throne room he was standing in.

[ Negative. ]

Coinciding with the floating quill's pleasantry answer, the cube that looked alive just a moment ago finally stopped moving, presenting its final form as an old candy vending machine. It looked to be the type that you would put a coin in and turn the key a few times to receive a gumball of some sort.

'That's a candy machine alright.'

Although the glass bubble was completely empty and hiding two other unnoticeable buttons at the side that Chrome came to find after a quick inspection, the item's name was now a perfect fit.

Swish!

Another thing worthy of notice was that the big golden cup standing on the small desk next to the throne had its bowel ignited as soon as the candy machine took form, burning with red flame like a drink of fire. However, Chrome failed to notice that detail as he was too concentrated on the candy machine's machinations.

"You can go ahead and explain." After witnessing how helpful the floating quill was for himself, Chrome decided to stop trying to figure out everything on his own, especially in the situation he was in right now where nothing made any sense to begin with.

[ This machine processes energy just as its name states, it can store the Palace Master's energy points in the form of candy that can be used later to replenish your energy reserve. Most importantly, it is mainly used to process your energy so that it can be exchanged from the most important resource in the Self Reliance Palace, Self Reliance Points. ]

"Oh?"

In most common cases, the human population's energy volume was always determined by their body's storing capacity regardless of their emission rate. Overall, the Exos Capacity rating was usually the main ability quantifier as any energy emitted above the storing capacity would directly seep into the surrounding atmosphere.

In Chrome's case who could only store 10 units of Exos at the age of 18, he would still be considered useless even if he somehow did awaken a Superpower due to his tiny 'battery'. This was the root of his problem that designated him as an eternal 'Ordinary' through and through despite not being as unlucky as the rare few cases born with no Exos at all…

"Does that mean I would be able to show the same performance as someone with a higher Exos rating as long as I have enough candy to munch on? Are these Self Reliance Points the resource needed to fuel the growth of the abilities mentioned in the scroll?"

All kinds of thoughts poured into Chrome's mind after reading the quill's explanation. Being no less surprising than the other two items, the candy machine's functions were just as mind-boggling!

[ Affirmative, and Affirmative. ]

'Doesn't that mean I just found my own free lifetime supply of Exos Supplements?'

One could always outperform his rating with the correct amount of Exos Supplements. However, even if one didn't care about their exorbitant cost, using too much of them without a certain period of cooldown had drastic side effects. That was why Exos ratings were still everything!

"There are no side effects?"

[ Negative. Reusing the energy that the Palace Master had personally produced has no adverse effects. ]

'Another jackpot!'

Each surprise after the other seemed to wash away the sorrow that weighed down on Alter Chrome's soul. He didn't fully understand the mechanism of the candy machine just yet, but at least one of his major problems could be directly solved with its help.

"So… How does it operate?"

Just the ability to produce Exos Supplements made the machine a legendary item, but Chrome's focus was mostly shifted towards the points he could receive through it. After all, rather than using resources to cheat his weakness, growing his base capabilities seemed much more enticing!

[ Palace Master can turn the machine's key once to receive the beginner usage guide. It contains the explanation for the conversion process. ]

Chrome didn't contemplate much as he did as the quill instructed. With a light 'Ding!', a transparent capsule similar to the ones produced by gacha vending machines slid down into the machine's spherical pocket.

Picking it up and giving it a turn, the capsule opened up, presenting Chrome with a blue piece of paper that had a few lines written in white.

______________________

'Energy Processing Candy Machine Guide'

Usage:

- Push the green button to switch on Energy Storing mode.

- Push the red button to switch off Energy Storing mode.

Term Introduction:

- Energy Storing mode: The Machine automatically stores the user's energy once it reaches the standard Flavor Threshold.

- Flavor Threshold: 10 Energy Points. (Raisin)

= Product Collection: Turn the machine's key once for each piece of candy that you wish to receive. (Limited by the number of candy pieces within the machine's storage)

-------------------------------------

Candy Consumption:

- Eat 1 piece of candy to receive 10 Energy Points.

- Throw 1 piece of candy in the Self Sacrifice Pool to receive 1 Self Reliance Point(SRP).

______________________

'This conversion rate seems to be quite steep.'

The detailed instructions written in English surprised Chrome no longer. After going through everything up to this point, he had already started to adapt to the peculiarity of this throne room.

The mentioned process appeared efficient, but its flexibility was debatable when he was the only one capable of supplying it. In any case, using it as a method to increase his wealth didn't seem like a good idea either thanks to its questionable source.

"Let's try it then," Chrome announced as he pushed the green button. Not everything within the instruction paper was clear, but trying the base function took precedence!

Suddenly receiving a light jolt deep inside as the notion of emptiness floated in his mind, Chrome saw a cubical piece of blue candy materialize inside the glass bubble as if weaved by some invisible thread.

Ding! Chrome turned the key once as another transparent capsule rolled down the machine's pocket!

Finding the blue candy cube inside of the capsule, Chrome left it inside as he turned to look at the 'Self Assessment + Modification Scroll' lying on the ground.

______________________

Name: Chrome Blue

Age: 18

Energy Points (EP): 1/11

______________________

Seeing the numerical decrease in his energy, Chrome took out the blue candy cube and popped it into his mouth.

"Oh, it's really raisin flavored."

Chrome blinked in surprise as he savored the flavor of what turned out to be a piece of raisin toffee. He turned back to the scroll only to witness the number that rose back to 11 blur back into 1/11 once again.

'One more time.'

Ding! Taking out the candy reappeared inside the glass bubble, Chrome seamlessly repeated the same sequence of actions. Only, he directly pressed the red button before eating it this time.

______________________

Energy Points (EP): 11/11

______________________

'Pure conversion with no loss… It's systematic to the core, but it creates a perfect cycle, something that someone like me specifically needs.'

After confirming most of the guide's content and receiving hope in escaping his limitation, Chrome switched on Energy Storing mode one more time, taking out the blue toffee to test the second part.

"So, what is this Self Sacrifice Pool supposed to be?" Chrome directly questioned the quill before he even tried to look around for it, expecting it to be an item that the quill would call out of nowhere just as it did with the chest.

[ It's by the Palace Master's throne. ]

'How did I not notice this till now?'

Turning away his attention from the candy machine, Chrome was surprised to see the fiery goblet standing beside the throne. Without further hesitation, he took a few steps forward before throwing the blue candy cube into the silent flame. Although it pained him to lose the Exos Supplement worth so much, exploring the point function was still worth the sacrifice…

[ You have received 1 Self Reliance Point (SRP). ]

[ The modification function of the 'Self Assessment + Modification Scroll' has been unlocked… ]

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