Chapter 77-80: Dwarf, Quest, Success
There was a profound echo that spread through the dungeon due to the world tree. It was a roar that informed all life of their presence. The dark elves simultaneously fell to their knees.
30 metres away from them, there were the buds of two world trees. It was unprecedented. History, myth, legend or fairy tale…this story was nowhere. But now that story was brought to life. It was occurring right in front of them in real time.
It was amazing. It was admirable!
A truly memorable achievement. No one could know the effect of two world trees. A record that would be left behind. The dark elves clenched their fists. Now this dungeon would become their real home. They would risk their lives with a smile for the two world trees. If they could keep it…the prosperity of their future generations would be guaranteed.
The dark elves had received much suffering in the Demon World and it was a time of grief for them. They hoped a miracle would be born through the meeting of the dark elf’s leader, Shilla and the true demonic dragon Aojin but it didn’t work out. I couldn’t imagine how they felt when making a contract with the dark spirits.
Now there was a leap forward.
Their sadness was overcome. Two world trees…
And in order to keep this, I needed to prevail in the competition to become the devil. The survival of the dungeon depending on the outcome.
‘Is it due to the Magic Crystal of High Concentration? This start is good.’
Unlike the already planted world tree, this seed’s growth was abnormal. The bud was already grown to half my body size. I looked forward to its future growth.
I took a step forward and looked at Chrisley. She was essential for this work but I would wait until she was fully recovered.
I spoke to the dark elves.
“Listen. Chrisley will be the one in charge of looking after the two world trees. Consult with Chrisley first if you want to do anything to the world trees. The buds need to be carefully managed.”
“My Dungeon Master. This type of work is more suited to Elder Julliom.”
Chrisley said with a humble attitude. Julliom was the elder. He had excellent knowledge in many areas but I shook my head.
World Tree. Common knowledge couldn’t be used to measure this cradle of life. Julliom would be inadequate in many ways if he was given responsibility. There were many variables. He couldn’t understand the nature of the world tree.
“You will be responsible for it, Chrisley.”
“As you command.”
I already confirmed it. Chrisley wouldn’t go against me.
She kneeled down.
Thus the primary cleanup was finished. It would take some time for it to grow and affect the whole dungeon.
I turned my body with a satisfied look.
A large pop came from a short distance.
But it didn’t end with just one. The ringing in my ears was so intense that it hurt. At the same time, the two world trees started moving.
I moved my eyes towards it.
At the same time, I was at a loss for words. An amazing sight was occurring right in front of me.
‘It is merging?’
The buds of the world tree had started growing again. It grew rapidly and the branches stretched to the world tree next to it. And the world tree on the other side was tilting its body. They were wriggling like they were trying to merge.
This was the first time two world trees were growing at the same time but I hadn’t anticipated such a thing. The result of different combinations…there was no way of knowing the two world trees would combine.
“My Dungeon Master. The surge of magic power is not ordinary.”
“Do you have any ideas?”
I couldn’t not ask.
Chrisley’s blood was the reason why the world trees started moving. The wavelength of the magic power was very similar to Chrisley. In addition, she was more sensitive to magic power than me.
Chrisley replied through cracked lips.
“The magic power from the body of the earth dragon is being extracted. It appears to be violently eating all of it up…”
I pondered the meaning of it.
“The earth dragon has the life of a huge forest and that is being eaten. The vitality of the forest is comparable to a few dogs to the world tree.”
Chrisley’s eyes widened.
“Then isn’t it a big deal?”
“I can’t be sure. However, the forest of the earth dragon seems to be devoured. It is impossible for the dragon to get another life but the world tree can eat the rest of it.”
This was only a guess. However, this hypothesis was the most plausible when considering the magic power of the earth dragon.
The dark elves’ expressions were filled with tension. They had been moved to tears just moments ago but the situation had changed in an instant.
I also had cold sweat on my hands. Anyway, the two world trees were joining together.
‘I can stop it or leave it be.’
I stood at the crossroads of choice.
If I separated them onto separate floors then this wouldn’t happen.
But I thought about the process of them gaining life from the earth dragon…
I was very curious about the result.
The forest life of the earth dragon was being devoured. The forest couldn’t compare to the world trees. A giant cradle that was the source of life. I couldn’t imagine the outcome. The earth dragon might elevate the existence of the world tree.
In the end, I made the decision to leave it alone.
Both world trees were engaging with each other.
They were invading each other’s areas, with one side attacking and one defending.
I stood still for a while and watched it. There was other work to do but my feet didn’t move…
One day passed and then two. But none of those gathered here moved. Even Yihi and the King Bee joined the ranks.
Finally, a change took place on the 3rd day. The world tree defending slowed its movement. In contrast, the other world tree attacked more fiercely.
It was defeated in the next attack. The world tree wrapped around its opponent. Huuuuong! The sound of magic power being sucked up. The merging of the two world trees had succeeded.
|-Impossible achievement! The ‘Tree of Origin’ has put down roots for the first time!
The ‘Tree of Origin’ was an object creature when trees were first conceived. Not much information is known about it.
|-The title ‘World Tree Master’ will change to ‘Origin Master.’
3,000,000pt will be paid.
Those message windows flashed when the two world trees joined together.
The title changed and the achievement even gave me 3 million points!
But I was surprised at one of the message windows.
There was a faded blue light around the Tree of Origin. A mysterious feeling that overwhelmed all beings. It hadn’t grown in size but I couldn’t help admiring it.
I expected some changes but it was closer to an evolution.
I opened my status window and saw that ‘World Tree Master (Ex U, All stats +2)’ had changed to ‘Origin Master (Epic, All stats +3).’
My first title with an epic rating. In my previous life, my limit was ‘Ex U.’ Titles were different from skills and items and were difficult to obtain. It was passed down from relatives or gained by achieving something almost impossible.
My stats had already long transcended my previous life. But I was in an entirely different mood after obtaining the title. I was completely satisfied.
Then Chrisley asked me with a pale face.
“My Dungeon Master. Is that truly a world tree?”
“The Tree of Origin.”
“…Tree of Origin! M-my Dungeon Master. Did I make a mistake?”
“You did it properly.”
It had a number of names. Origin, genesis, beginning, etc. The tree could be called all those things. Chrisley and the dark elves staggered for a moment.
“I’ve only heard it in the myths. I never thought it would exist…”
“So your responsibilities will become more heavy.”
“I will do my best.”
Chrisley’s face became determined. Her willingness was clearly expressed. If the Tree of Origin was really a world tree then there wasn’t a problem.
I rubbed my forehead for a moment. I suddenly felt fatigue. I was the most tense among all those gathered here.
Depending on the outcome, all my choices could have been in vain. The world trees might have received heavy damages. Starting from making a combination to germinate the Seed of the World Tree, every action had been a series of gambles. My fatigue would last a while.
“I’m going to leave now.”
I flatly said and turned around.
Chrisley and the dark elves kneeled down as I quietly walked out.
* * *
And…at that time.
A group of people was climbing the dungeon.
“Two lava spiders are coming closer!”
“Don’t let the ranks get messed up!”
“Edward! The fire lizards are breathing out flames!”
The group of people were Devil Hunters from Heaven’s Will. There was a total of 12 of them and they had reached the 6th floor.
The 6th floor was filled with lava. If they took one wrong step then their flesh would be melted by the lava. There were also the creatures present.
Yoo Eun-hye brandished a sword covered with lightning behind Edward. Originally his lower half had been crushed but Edward was cured with the help of the elixir. His spirit of revenge caused him to run wild.
He had an incredibly steep growth and was already one of the top 3 in Devil Hunters. Only 11 years old. He was 12 years old in South Korean age but he was already 160 centimetres with muscles. He had grown more than 10 centimetres in just a few months.
A fire lizard breathed out a huge flame. Then Edward Windsor hastily lowered his body and avoided the flames.
“Noona worries too much. A mindless lizard like this is no match for me.”
Edward’s sword pierced the lizard’s chest. And he brutally stabbed the fire lizard many times.
Yoo Eun-hye’s forehead wrinkled and she cried out.
“You…huu! This raid group is a team. I won’t forgive you if you go ahead alone.”
“I understand. Then I will go catch the lava spiders. The other members need help.”
Edward said and then rushed towards the lava spiders. Yoo Eun-hye shook her head.
“Ahyu! Why do these things happen to me?”
It was like Yoo Eun-hye was looking after a son. Her fate was childcare. She couldn’t help sighing as she thought of the captain.
‘Captain-nim. Watch out. I will give you a beating!’
Yoo Eun-hye had a long face as she followed behind Edward.
* * *
Over the past few months, South Korea had gone through a change. It was due to the aftermath caused by the monster wave. Thousands of soldiers died, the property damage was in the trillions and they could only watch humiliated as the creatures marched through their country.
There was a hold in national security so the public couldn’t help feeling uneasy.
Somebody needed to take responsibility for the situation.
The administration, including the president and head of the counterterrorism department, was replaced.
The status of the Awakened climbed. The Awakened had already gained the people’s trust. The Awakened came forward during the monster wave and reduced the damage.
Full support. There was a push at the national level. Thanks to that, the guilds rapidly expanded their power.
The monster waves were already at a global threat. Each country naturally wanted to take in the strong Awakened.
There was a movement to stop the Awakened from leaving their country. Thus, the Awakened rapidly gained a foothold.
The ‘Golden Age of the Awakened’ was about to open.
* * *
“Ah, let’s see. I thought it was a safe zone?”
Late in the evening.
Kim Chun-won was drinking beer in a pub and let out an outpouring of complaints. He got into Devil Hunters through the audition and was the holder of the title ‘Foul Mouthed Person.’ He had the unique specialty of a bard but the eyes of the people around Kim Chun-won was cold.
“Why is everybody looking at me like that? Didn’t everyone think it was a safe zone at first? There was no way of knowing that creatures could enter.
“Ajusshi. That isn’t the problem. Can’t you recognize it?”
Yoo Eun-hye who was drinking soda said.
The dungeon’s 6th floor. They had found a small house in the lava field. Usually a safe zone…was known as a home in the form of a ‘poo.’ However, Kim Chun-won insisted that the house was a safe zone as soon as he saw it.
But unlike his claims, the worst case situation occurred as the creatures rushed the house. There was massive damage but fortunately they all survived.
Kim Chun-won frowned.
“Why are you calling me ajusshi? Don’t you know I’m still in my mid-twenties? And having a house in a place like that was strange in the first place. Would creatures bother to make a home?”
“Why not? Some creatures are bipedal and also have intelligence.”
Kim Chun-won glared at Yoo Eun-hye.
“You just need to meddle in everything.”
“Omo, scary. Don’t drag me off somewhere else!”
Yoo Eun-hye hid behind Edward. Edward ate a chicken leg and stared at Kim Chun-won.
The child was staring at Kim Chun-won with unusually deep eyes. Aside from a few people, Edward always had that expression in his eyes.
‘The brat’s fucking eyes…!’
Kim Chun-won felt uneasy and poured the beer down his throat.
Lee Ji-hye clapped her hands and said.
“Stop it. Today we are gathered to figure out measures against the ‘pyrocks.’ They are strong creatures that we need to beat.”
They had emerged during the monster wave. Numerous soldiers were slaughtered by the pyrocks! The small creatures with the wings of a bat attacked the group on the 6th floor. The group couldn’t face them. All they could do was run away.
“Unni. Looking at the numbers, there aren’t many of them. Do we really need to worry about the damage?”
Yoo Eun-hye who had returned to her seat spoke.
Lee Ji-hye shook her head.
“The problem is that we can’t be sure. It is likely that much stronger creatures will exist on the 7th floor. Have you forgotten how much we suffered penetrating through the 5th floor?”
The bodies of the members trembled as they recalled the nightmare of the mud golems, puppets and harpies on the 5th floor. They made significant efforts to raise their stats and skills and succeeded. However, there were many times when they were almost wiped out.
“Unni. Then there is no way? It might be better to reorganize from the ground floor up.”
“The pressure from the guild isn’t a joke. The expectations on Devil Hunters is too big. We need to reach at least the 7th floor to succeed. There isn’t much time.”
Yoo Eun-hye weakly slapped her forehead.
“Aigoo. This is all thanks to Captain-nim!”
“Captain-nim is away and that is the end of it.”
In fact, the value of Devil Hunters had risen due to their leader Randalph Brigsiel. He had the title of ‘South Korea’s strongest Awakened’ and it was expected that his raid group, Devil Hunters, would be the strongest. But Yoo Eun-hye and Edward had only recently emerged. They still had a long way to go.
The leader also took Krasla with him…so the absence of their key power was painful.
The members were sweating to maintain the value of their name but there was a limit.
As the mood was going down, Yoo Eun-hye raised her hand.
“Can’t we get support from other famous raid groups?”
“Would other famous raid groups treat us fairly?”
Yoo Eun-hye frowned.
“Indeed. We’ve received a lot of jealousy so they would just try to stifle us. Anyway, it is a problem. They might just try to devour us.”
Top 5 guilds.
Among that was the Heaven’s Will Guild that Devil Hunters belonged to. They achieved an overwhelming fear of repelling the monster waves around the world but ‘Randalph Brigsiel’ was the only name heard afterwards.
The other 4 guilds didn’t like this. Everyone recognized the leader of the raid group but the atmosphere itself wasn’t very good. The requests for help that asked for Randalph…the raid group had to lightly discard it.
“But we aren’t just any raid group. There will be raid groups plotting against us from behind. They might even spread strange rumours.”
Lee Ji-hye sighed.
Anyway, Devil Hunters needed to resolve this.
“Unni. We should turn this misfortune to our advantage. Wouldn’t our reputation improve if we reach the 7th floor without the raid leader?”
“I hope so.”
But everyone knew how great the raid captain was. Everyone gathered here wouldn’t even be able to touch one hair on his head.
Yoo Eun-hye shrugged and drank her soft drink.
“Ah, scull it. Drink it all at once. Just think about drinking!”
“Annoying. How can you say that when you are holding a soft drink?”
A fork was stuck in the table in front of Kim Chun-won.
He was startled and looked for the culprit behind the fork. Judging by the angle of the fork, Edward was the one who threw it.
Kim Chun-won’s gaze moved.
He was outwardly calm but his insides were boiling.
No matter how bad his mouth, he couldn’t swear at someone so young. In addition, Edward went crazy whenever it involved Yoo Eun-hye.
‘Ah, fuck. A mother’s boy?’
Kim Chun-won used that excuse to rationalize his loss against a young boy.
* * *
The dungeon’s top floor.
I watched the hologram floating above the Dungeon Core.
I went into Domestic Mode to confirm the changes.
This was due to the Tree of Origin.
The blessing from the Statue of Abundance meant there was a steep growth but not much information was known. I purchased related books in the store but there was little relevant information about the Tree of Origin.
‘The first life conceived. I’ve read many books and this was the one fact I found.’
In the end, I could only verify it directly.
But no prominent features had appeared yet. The real time breeding rate in the dungeon increased by 0.5% but I couldn’t spot anything else. But I couldn’t determine if this was due to the influence of the Tree of Origin.
I had to keep watch over time. It was still too early.
However, I couldn’t help having high expectations towards the world trees. A tree connected to the creation of the world…it wouldn’t be a small thing. It was one of the reasons why I was watching the hologram.
“Master. Yihi found something interesting!”
Yihi came back without the King Bee. She was always smiling but today she was even happier.
I replied without looking at her. Yihi flew in front of me with her wings flapping.
“Yihi saw something very interesting!”
“Get out of the way. I can’t see.”
Yihi’s shoulders slumped with a sad atmosphere around her. So she started talking to herself.
“Humans are coming up. I heard they just received a dwarf quest. Yihi really saw it. So I decided to report it to Master. Yihi might like jokes but Master’s reaction is too much. Yihi’s heart is broken ~ I won’t tell you anything in the future.”
“Humans have appeared on the 7th floor?”
My interest abruptly shifted to Yihi.
“Yes Master. Yihi watched them carefully.”
She flapped her wings again and her smile had come back. Fairies were simpleminded, especially Yihi. What fairy didn’t like attention?
“No friction happened.”
Sooner or later, humans would reach the 7th floor. It was in a ready state but many humans would just attack the dwarves without bothering to speak to them. Fortunately, such a thing didn’t happen.
“Humans are stupid. They are easily deceived. The small dwarves only made small repairs to their weapons and their guard was gone? Yihi laughed when I saw it.”
“Yihi. Did you check that the quest was officially registered?”
I wondered about the humans who had received a quest from creatures. The quests were a strategy to raise the Awakened.
“The humans were surprised when the small dwarf asked them for a favour. A quest window opened in front of the Awakened.”
Yihi’s words confirmed it.
‘I can give quests…’
It was a fairly important and useful piece of information.
I immediately pulled out the modified crystal ball and viewed the dwarf village on the 7th floor.
After a while, the surface of the sphere showed a blurry scene of the village.
The completed village was worth watching.
First, there were dozens of 2 storey buildings neatly placed. A clock tower was erected in a square overflowing with statues. In particular, there were some buildings made to fit humans and I could see a few familiar human faces.
‘Yoo Eun-hye, Lee Ji-hye and Edward Windsor.’
They didn’t know.
They were the humans that I drew into the raid group directly.
‘Devil Hunters is the first raid group to reach the 7th floor.’
It was a strange feeling.
I had forgotten about their existence for a while but now they appeared.
I didn’t feel any pride. Devil Hunters was the first raid group on the 7th floor. This meant they had grown steadily.
‘Wait and see.’
I continued watching them through the crystal ball.
* * *
Shortly after the failed raid on the 6th floor.
Devil Hunters prepared themselves and once again challenged the dungeon.
It went without saying that they prepared expensive potions and scrolls. Even if it only moved them an extra 10 metres, these preparations could save their lives.
Up to the 5th floor, it was easy to move thanks to the safe zones. Usually the creatures moved along a set path. No significant damage occurred if they avoided those paths. Naturally, Devil Hunters had identified several safe routes.
These routes were information that could be sold for money.
The information was a big help for regular raid groups.
In a day, they reached the 6th floor without a hitch. Sweat was flowing even when they were standing still due to the lava.
They immediately identified the creatures on the 6th floor.
Fire lizards, lava spiders, fire lava, fire slimes…and pyrocks!
They were significantly stronger compared to the creatures on the 5th floor. It was possible due to Yoo Eun-hye and Edward. They fought together a few times and developed their own strategies. Except for the pyrocks, the other creatures couldn’t go against them.
“…Unni. A little anticlimactic. Isn’t it?”
Yoo Eun-hye sighed as she looked at the surrounding buildings.
7th floor. This was the dwarf village.
They had moved nervously from the 6th floor but hadn’t encountered anything like the pyrocks. The only thing they saw when stepping on the 7th floor were the 1 metre ‘dwarves.’
Despite being on guard, the dwarves were friendly. The grizzled faces welcomed the raid group with smiles. It wasn’t possible to do a pre-emptive strike after seeing those smiles.
It was the first time the group became stunned in the dungeon. The dwarves offered the raid group shelter and weapon repair.
“We still don’t know. Don’t relax.”
Lee Ji-hye said with a pale face.
Their goodwill didn’t convince her. It might lead to a trap. Therefore she left some members by the entrance.
“I don’t see any apparent enemies? Unni, look at the weapons worn by the dwarves. It is no joke. The lowest ones are rare grade weapons. Their numbers are greater than us…why would they need to lure us into a trap?”
Yoo Eun-hye said.
Her eyes were stunned as she gazed at the dwarves. Their weapons and armour were all much better.
Just having one of them would make her a lot of money. She had a lot of money after belonging to Devil Hunters but…at any rate, there were almost 100 of them so there was no need for a trap.
Their small size wasn’t a problem. Big gaping shoulders. Looking at the muscles, it was obvious they wouldn’t be easy opponents.
“Haha. Heroes, don’t worry. We dwarves are different from the other creatures. Rather, we have been waiting for brave heroes.
The dwarf guiding the raid group laughed. No enemies. The other dwarves passing the party were just looking at them curiously.
Lee Ji-hye’s eyes were wide.
“What is your intent? If you aren’t our enemies then why are you armed?”
“This is a dungeon. A place where every creature has to struggle for survival. The situation means that we are always armed. And…don’t be too hasty. Elder-nim will tell you the rest of the story.”
The dwarf’s explanation seemed reasonable at first glance. But that alone couldn’t be explained.
Why was a creature saying something so nicely?
Maybe this was close to the ‘truth’ of the world that they didn’t know.
Lee Ji-hye was uncomfortable as she kept on walking.
“This is the place. Ahchacha. Heroes, in this area can you put away your weapons?”
The dwarf mentioned it like he had forgotten. Lee Ji-hye shook her head.
“I can’t be disarmed.
“Then warriors must go with you. Is it okay if you wait a little longer for the story?”
What to do?
The attention of the group members were focused on Lee Ji-hye.
They decided to follow her words.
The dwarf glanced around and two more followed them.
The raid group had left three members at the entrance to the 7th floor. There were nine people who arrived in this place.
That number was significant. It was enough to take seriously. But this place was a dungeon. Caution was needed.
Lee Ji-hye thought of several situations that could occur as she led the way inside the building. The rest of the crew members followed behind.
Soon a dwarf could be seen sitting in front of a huge wooden table.
The dwarf shook some ashes into a bowl and opened his mouth.
“It is a pleasure to meet you, Heroes. My name is Stein. I am responsible for this small village.”
All the group members sat at the table. After they sat down, Stein finally told the story.
“You must have many questions. I am happy to answer most of them. It is better if both sides trust each other.”
“I saw some dwarves in the 1st monster wave. Is this place related to those dwarves?”
Lee Ji-hye asked sharply.
Stein shrugged and replied shamelessly.
“Monster wave? What is that?”
“It is when creatures collectively escape the dungeon to attack humans.”
“Is there such a thing? We don’t know about it. We’ve never gone out of the dungeon.”
In fact, the dwarves had left the dungeon. They led the creatures to attack the city in accordance with Dungeon Master’s orders. They lied about the dwarves seen in the 1st monster wave.
But they directed it behind the scenes. The dwarves needed to convince the humans. They played ignorant.
Lee Ji-hye was still suspicious.
“You have never left the dungeon yet you are aware of the existence of Heroes.”
“Shouldn’t I know at least that much? We are aware that there are other places in this dungeon. We didn’t come from this dungeon in the first place. We came to ‘Earth’ from a completely different world.”
“An entirely different world?”
Lee Ji-hye’s eyes were filled with curiosity.
“A continent called ‘Hebnaim.’ Well, we didn’t know it but…one day we were forcibly transferred to this dungeon. And were forced to live here. If the ‘Dungeon Master’ on the top floor is killed then we might be able to return to our original world. And…”
Stein took a deep breath and clenched his fists.
“How do we know the existence of Heroes? It is simple. We received a small revelation from our god. This is the only way we can be free of the dungeon!”
A prepared script.
Half lies and half truth.
Stein really had quality acting.
Even Lee Ji-hye became uncertain after his passionate gesture.
“Receiving a revelation from God, that isn’t easy to believe.”
“I think that meeting you now is a miracle in itself. It has to be.”
The modern world was a series of miracles. The emergence of dungeons and then the Awakened. Nothing was normal. It wasn’t strange for a god to appear.
“Okay. Even if I accept it. But what about the other creatures?”
“We are different from the other creatures with low intelligence. The dungeon was wide. There are many creatures. A variety of types. Why do we have to be like them?”
“So…we can assume that the dwarves in this place aren’t our enemies?”
“That’s right. We are willing to help you. Of course, it won’t be blind help…in short, if we cooperate then mutual benefits can be obtained. I’d love to help for nothing but that isn’t possible with our circumstances.”
Lee Ji-hye moved her eyes over his equipment. They were all remarkable things. Even getting a few of them would be challenging.
She came to the conclusion that it really wasn’t bad to form a mutual relationship.
“Win-win. Good words. What do you want? They are very good comments but I want to know what you want first.”
“We hope to get help from you. It isn’t easy for the dwarves to leave the village empty. It is troublesome to handle external problems.”
“Help…I wonder what you need help with.”
“It is simple. Remove 10 snail like creatures called ‘Heukwa’ from the 7th floor. Their mucus is enough to make the ground soft so it is a serious problem. Thanks to them, the ground has become pitted and quite a few dwarves have suffered. If you bring back their shells then I will give additional compensation. The shells from the Heukwa can be used to create a scabbard.”
The moment that Stein’s words finished.
|-‘Stein’s Favour’ quest has occurred.
Purpose – Remove 10 ‘Heukwa’ 0/10
Compensation – Consult with Stein.
All members of the group were surprised. They never imagined that a quest would occur.
All Awakened would be excited about a ‘sudden quest.’ There was compensation and their stats would rise a bit faster.
Stats were absolute. It was unconditionally good to have high stats. Furthermore, completing the quest was likely to give them ‘achievements.’ Depending on the achievements, they could get skills or a title…the team’s eyes lit up.
“Let’s try it.”
Lee Ji-hye nodded.
* * *
The Heukwa were low grade creatures. Their size wasn’t very large but the shell was insanely hard. The mucus had a strong acid but they weren’t aggressive so it wasn’t difficult to hunt them.
Instead, they had to be careful of the many holes that surrounded the Heukwa. There wouldn’t be any difficulties once that part was avoided.
“The 7th floor is easier.”
Yoo Eun-hye muttered after hunting 10 heukwa.
The other members agreed. The 7th floor was easier than the 5th and 6th floors.
“Huhu. Doesn’t this feel like a stage?”
Kim Chun-won said with a laugh. His role as a bard was to attract the aggro but he didn’t need to do that with the Heukwa. He could just comfortably watch.
The battle ended and Lee Ji-hye said.
“Move them on the wagon. We will return to the village.”
Before leaving the village, Stein had let them borrow a large wagon. Thanks to that, moving the shells were easy.
Two of the members were moving the shells of the Heukwa when Yoo Eun-hye said.
“Unni. What will the dwarves give as a reward? Something like a legendary sword?”
“A legendary sword for these 10 shells? They will probably just throw us some tools.”
“Then ~ ask first. A unique grade sword.”
“That is just a dream, dongsaeng (younger sibling).”
The members joked around as they pulled the wagon. There were 10 heukwa shells piled in the wagon like a mountain.
Yoo Eun-hye stretched out while moving.
“Ah, won’t there be quite a few people who will become sick after hearing we are the 1st raid group to successfully reach the 7th floor?”
“I guess so. There is also the news about the dwarf village.”
“Finally taking off the disgrace of our raid group…”
Their bad name. Lee Ji-hye couldn’t bring herself to say those words. Yoo Eun-hye was already like a sibling to her. Yoo Eun-hye and Lee Ji-hye had pleasant smiles on their faces.
“Stop! 70 metres in front. Something is approaching. There are quite a few of them.”
One of the members who had the profession of ‘scout’ said from the front. His senses were a great help.
He could clearly hear anything approaching.
Capturing even small sounds.
The scout swallowed his saliva.
“Even in the rear. Damn…it can’t be avoided?”
They were trapped. The distance wasn’t far away. Lee Ji-hye made a decision.
“Prepare to fight. Guarders forward.”
“Get the aggro of the creatures in front.”
“I will do it.”
One of the guarders willingly raised his hand.
A guarder’s role was to attract the aggro to ensure the members in the rear could move comfortably.
Soon, a huge swarm of bees appeared in the front and rear.
There were approximately 100 of them!
A monster that was only 1 metre in size. The crew members flinched with repulsion at the sight.
“…Damn, is this a bonus stage?”
Kim Chun-won spat out with disgust.
Bee monsters. They were led by the King Bee.
There was only the simple attack using the stingers but the numbers meant the team was screwed. No matter how strong, the Awakened wouldn’t be able to withstand it. The stingers also contained a poison that would send them to the afterlife.
The team members tried to resist but one or two eventually fell victim to the King Bee. Those stung rapidly received symptoms and collapsed. In many ways, it was a state of emergency but their bodies were trembling with fear.
‘What should I do?’
Thoughts filled Lee Ji-hye’s head. But she had no way of comprehending it. Her colleagues were going to die. Even if she fought to the end, it was unlikely they would win.
Lee Ji-hye could hear Yoo Eun-hye’s scream. She tried to rush over but was blocked by the King Bee. Edward was also struggling to get to her.
He didn’t care about the others but he couldn’t abandon Yoo Eun-hye. Lee Ji-hye raised her hand and formed a sphere of water. But it wasn’t an effective attack against the King Bee.
But the King Bee changed directions and aimed at Lee Ji-hye. Lee Ji-hye closed her eyes as the King Bee came closer.
“You guys. Yihi said to do it properly! You guys are really alive because of Yihi. Honey all day, ah ~ that is why you should listen to Yihi. Huh?”
Suddenly a voice was heard.
Lee Ji-hye opened her eyes.
At the same time, she became greatly surprised.
There was a little fairy with turquoise hair right in front of her.
Was she hallucinating? Lee Ji-hye rubbed her eyes.
But no matter how much she rubbed, the translucent fairy didn’t disappear.
The King Bee had stopped moving due to the fairy’s tantrum. Then the fairy flapped her wings quickly. A small fairy was controlling a giant bee monster.
Lee Ji-hye looked around. There were only three members remaining. The remaining nine were laying on the ground. They weren’t dead but it was an emergency situation. Even so, she couldn’t easily move.
The fairy Yihi crossed her arms arrogantly and said.
“Am I wrong? Yihi said it, but don’t believe it. Yihi will show you through actions instead of words. I told you to give many wounds to the men in the dungeon. Yihi is a good fairy and has always been the victim of men like that.”
She didn’t talk about women. Yihi seemed to be glancing at the men while pretending to wipe her tears. Tears didn’t fall down…
Then the King Bee started to move. Lee Ji-hye’s eyes widened.
The two team members back away. Three people. The King Bee couldn’t block all of them.
Their legs were shaking but they slowly stepped back.
“What, this ugly girl? Look at that large bum.”
“Uh, bum? No, what is the reason behind attacking us?”
Lee Ji-hye said with panic. She had to somehow find a gap to escape. Her eyes faced in front of her while her hands signaled to the other two members.
It was something they developed for emergencies where they couldn’t speak.
An opportunity. Run away. Help. The team members bit their lips after seeing those words.
Yihi covered her mouth with a mock surprised expression.
“Omomo. Your bum is the size of a hippogriff’s head! Is your brain made of feces? Eew, stinky.”
She blocked her nose and waved her hand.
Lee Ji-hye’s image of a fairy cracked at that moment.
She never heard of such vicious fairies in the stories.
The fairies in stories basically had a clean and good image. But this fairy Yihi was the complete opposite.
She had never heard of a fairy like that.
“And don’t you pick up the trash from the path when walking?”
“Yihihi. Yihi sees you as trash so I should put you away like a good fairy.”
Yihi puffed up.
She put herself in the category of a ‘nice fairy.’
It was at that moment. The two men behind Lee Ji-hye immediately ran. The King Bee moved before Yihi could even say anything.
“Ah! Don’t miss…!
“You want to chase? Water Sphere!”
Lee Ji-hye threw the water sphere she had prepared at Yihi. She was thinking that the King Bee would stop if its master, the fairy, was in trouble.
But the fairy had a spirit body. Yihi was the fairy of this Dungeon Core. It was difficult to harm Yihi.
However, Yihi’s mood worsened because of it.
“This ugly bitch! How dare you attack Yihi?”
Lee Ji-hye clicked her tongue and grasped her staff with unease. It would end here.
She wanted to escape with Yoo Eun-hye but that didn’t seem possible. She expected this to happen whenever entering the dungeon but…now she felt bleak.
“No matter how good like an angel Yihi is, it can’t be helped. I can’t let you go.”
Yihi pointed a finger at Lee Ji-hye.
The bees started to move.
An overwhelming number. Lee Ji-hye’s skills could do nothing against them.
In the end, Lee Ji-hye couldn’t resist and the saliva of the King Bee invaded her body. One long needle was sunk into her side.
Her eyes naturally closed.
Was this the end? It was unfair that she would die like this. But she couldn’t turn back the clock. She wanted it to be dream but it was brutal reality.
Lee Ji-hye’s eyes completely closed.
At that moment, Yihi muttered to herself.
“I feel like Yihi is forgetting something important. What is it?”
She thought about it but couldn’t come up with anything.
“Eh ~ it isn’t a big deal.”
Humming. Yihi thought on the positive side. Yihi left without any worries. She was followed by the King Bee.
* * *
Lee Ji-hye opened her eyes.
A white ceiling. That was the first sight she saw.
She looked around with surprise at the cosy sensation.
Yoo Eun-hye was smiling next to her.
“Unni, you woke up?
“Why are you so surprised? You don’t have to worry. This is heaven.”
Heaven? Lee Ji-hye mouth dropped open. Her limbs were stiff and her breath became harsh as she recalled what happened. It didn’t make sense that she would survive that situation.
“How does it feel?”
“I don’t know. Just numb.”
“You will get used to it. I was also confused when I first opened my eyes.”
But it didn’t console her. Tears started falling from Lee Ji-hye’s eyes. And Yoo Eun-hye was rather confused.
“I’m sorry. Eun-hye. Unni didn’t protect you.”
“I-I’m joking, joking! I’m not dead. I am fine! This isn’t heaven.”
Lee Ji-hye was still crying as she blinked. Yoo Eun-hye felt like she committed a great sin and quickly explained.
“This is the dwarf village. The dwarves saved us. Sorry unni. I just wanted to play a small joke. Please forgive me.”
“We are alive?”
Yoo Eun-hye gave a big nod. She vowed not to make fun of her unni in the future.
Swipe swipe. Lee Ji-hye wiped away her tears. At the same time, she pinched her cheeks! She turned towards Yoo Eun-hye.
“Haha! I-I’m sorry, unni.”
Her fingers started tickling Yoo Eun-hye’s sides.
* * *
The dwarf chief Stein gave a bitter laugh.
“I’m sorry. I never thought you would meet the vicious fairy. It was lucky that some dwarves were passing nearby and found you.”
This was the house of the elder.
The team members were staying here while recovering.
Lee Ji-hye asked fiercely.
“What the hell is that fairy?”
“Well, that… A vicious fairy with many vices. Occasionally she will appear and cause a lot of trouble. There is no method to stop her every time she comes.”
Stein talked badly about Yihi without any hesitation.
“If there is such a risk then shouldn’t we have some assurance in advance?”
“Hu…that’s right. I didn’t think it would turn out like this. I should add more compensation to what I planned for killing 10 Heukwa.”
Lee Ji-hye frowned.
She didn’t think it would be acknowledged. Just the fact that her team members almost died caused her to be annoyed.
But the chief also said it was an unexpected situation. Being angry wouldn’t allow them to take a step forward. At this point, it might even cause the situation to take a step back.
“I need to make some calculations. Okay. I don’t want our relationship to collapse.”
Stein gave a tight smile.
|-‘Stein’s Favour’ quest has been completed.
The difficulty of the quest is being measured. The difficulty level is ‘low.’
|-You have completed the first quest given by creatures.
The title ‘Equal Party (N, Strength +2) has been added to your status window.
“Oh my god, I got a title…”
The team members all reacted. The title only had a normal rating but they knew how difficult it was to obtain a title.
This was an unexpected quest progress and the Awakened had received it from a creature. Lee Ji-hye was convinced by the first achievement and said towards Stein.
“Well, it has already happened. Now you should get up gently. I will guide you to our treasury.”
Devil Hunters obtained a desired item and descended the dungeon. They came down by the safe routes so it wasn’t difficult. Everybody was exhausted and could only think about going home.
They finally left the dungeon and Lee Ji-hye said.
“Don’t forget to drop by the hospital for a checkup.”
“Our manager has plenty of worries ~”
“Eun-hye. It’s not a joke.”
Yoo Eun-hye had committed a sin and immediately wagged her tail.
There was a private bus waiting outside the dungeon. The size of the bus was enough to only fit the Devil Hunters raid group and was a bulletproof vehicle that could withstand considerable impact. It was printed with the trademark half skull of Devil Hunters.
Yoo Eun-hye sat on a seat and stretched out.
“Ah, finally going home.”
“Make sure your seat belt is tight.”
“I want unni to be honest with me. Mother? Are you my mother disguised?”
Lee Ji-hye started laughing. At the same time, fatigue sunk in. Some members started snoozing as soon as they sat down.
The private bus driver waiting at the wheel turned and said.
“You must have suffered a lot. Everybody is tired.”
Lee Ji-hye raised her hand and replied painfully.
“Driver-nim. Please slow down.”
“Yes. I will keep that in mind.”
Lee Ji-hye checked her phone as the bus started moving. She pressed and held the power button, entered her pin and saw ‘26 messages’ written.
24 of the 26 messages were sent by Kim Yong-woo, the guild master of Heaven’s Will. The remaining two were reminders of loans.
-Why didn’t you wait for Randalph-nim instead of forcing it?
-The dungeon capture is in progress? Hu! I’m going crazy. Get in contact soon.
-I am just inquiring about your progress. Get in contact soon.
This was the contents of the messages.
Typing out a reply was troublesome.
Lee Ji-hye wrote the smallest amount of words possible and pressed the send button.
-Dwarf, quest, successful. And sleepiness.
Lee Ji-hye threw the phone to the seat beside her and closed her eyes.
* * *
Yihi leaned back against the Dungeon Core and lifted both hands.
“Master. Yihi was wrong. Yihi became ignorant after you gave me the King Bee.”
A voluntary report. Maybe she confessed in order to receive punishment. I looked at Yihi.
“But Master. The ugly girl tried to attack Yihi. If Yihi’s body was real then I would be in a lot of pain.”
“Your body doesn’t have substance. It means you don’t have to be excited about such attacks.”
Yihi bowed with a grouchy expression.
She had only wanted to scare the team members on the 7th floor. No creatures existed on the 8th to 11th floor while there was the 3Lv intermediate ‘Naga’ on the 12th floor. The raid group were barely the opponents for the pyrocks, let along the nagas.
She only intended to scare them to stop them from climbing up. However, Yihi made the group end up at death’s door. If it was even a little later then Yoo Eun-hye and Edward would be lost. It would be impossible for them to survive if the King Bee’s venom wasn’t removed within 20 minutes.
‘I need to be a little stern.’
I had been watching the progress so fortunately an accident hadn’t happened. But I couldn’t leave Yihi to her own devices anymore.
Was I too free with her?
“I will withdraw your authority for a while.”
“M-Master…Yihi was wrong. I won’t do it again.”
Yihi tearfully said. But I didn’t budge. I would take this opportunity to curb some habits.
“I will close the garden you made. I had previously turned a blind eye because I trusted that you would perform your duties. If you make a mistake like this every time then there is no reason to turn a blind eye.”
“N-no! Master. Then the bees are going to die. Yihi has to take care of them on a daily basis.”
Yihi’s expression was desperate.
But I already made my decision. I couldn’t allow this mistake to be repeated.
I turned and headed to the 15th floor. I wanted to look at the Tree of Origin.
“Master! Please. Yihi will work hard in the future. Yes?”
Her voice was unheard. In the end, Yihi was left alone on the top floor.
Yihi cried sadly into her hands.
* * *
|-Opening of the dimensional gate…13%.|
|-The gate code has forced a change. There will be forced movement from the Demon World to Earth.|
|-The authorized personnel includes 2,000 angels…|
|-An event message will be given to all players…|