Sungchul ran directly to the first floor. The blind monsters waded with their arms to seek his presence, but Sungchul had already moved past them. He passed by them like a gust of wind and the only thing that remained in Sungchul’s eyes were the wide-eyed corpses of the Exploratory Unit. One of them was the man that had explained to Sungchul about the Cave Elves. The man had died with his eyes still open, and below his head were two Cave Elves, busily drinking his blood and devouring his flesh. As the Cave Elf’s grotesque jaw moved, the man’s corpse lightly shifted.
Sungchul pulled out a single whip from his Soul Storage. The whip was ten meters long with steel cleats embedded along its length that gave off a red light. The Demonic Whip Cassandra. It was an infamous weapon held by the leader of the Balrogs. It was capable of ripping apart the armor and flesh of holy knights with a single blow and was magically enchanted with the ability to sear the enemy with the fires of hell. The reason Sungchul put away Fal Garaz for Cassandra was simple.
The ten-meter long whip cracked in the air and struck dozens of Cave Elves with a force enough to pound them into the ground. It was a complete victory with a single strike, and the magical enchantment on Cassandra caused the corpses of the Cave Elves to burn from the fires of hell. It was a suitable ending for their evil deeds.
What kind of a reaction would the rest of the Cave Elves show from the smell of their burning kin?
Sungchul wondered this as he kicked away two Cave Elves that were dumbly searching around his feet. The monsters had their skulls caved in and died a distance away before they could even scream.
Sungchul gazed into the darkness. Dozens of Cave Elves were drawn by the sounds and smells to this location. Sungchul sharply struck the ground with Cassandra for them to hear.
The light sound echoed in the dungeon, and the mass of Cave Elves began to reveal themselves. Cassandra split the air with one sharp motion. A single strike struck down dozens of Cave Elves like bales of straws. Not even five minutes had passed before corpses of the elves were burning all around Sungchul. It was at this moment when the Cave Elves realized that the man with the whip was not an existence they could contest with.
A Cave Elf let out a sharp shriek from the rear. It caused the other Cave Elves to abandon their kin and flee into the darkness. Sungchul who had just finished a round of one-sided massacre stood still to focus on the sounds in the cave.
He could hear faint sounds of a battle raging on nearby. The Swordsmen of the Ancient Kingdom were engaged in a fierce fight against the Cave Elves. The Cave Elves had oppressive numbers, but there was a Sword Master on the side of humans. Mikhael swung his blade that emitted its bluish sword aura as he drove into the center of the formation of the Cave Elves.
“3… 2… 1… Go Shoot!”
Mikhael spun like a top and began to blindly slaughter the nearby Cave Elves. He left nothing but chunks of corpses in his wake. However, the Cave Elves didn’t take the assault lying down. An aged Cave Elf with piercings made of bones decorating its face fired a bone arrow towards Mikhael which was timed to coincide with when his rotation began to weaken. It flew with a terrifying force toward his neck like lightning.
In that single moment, a man appeared protectively and knocked away the arrow with a staff. Sungchul’s eyes lit up with curiosity.
‘Quite a skilled fellow.’
He had wondered who it was, and it turned out to be the man in his forties in the attire of a butler.
“Master. The one capable of capturing the final 5 seconds holds victory. Do not forget this, sir.”
“I appreciate it, Odrias.”
After expressing the proper formalities, Mikhael prepared for the final assault with his subordinate Sword Adepts. The battle ended the moment the old cave elf with the piercings died.
The elves ran away, never to attack again.
Mimi revealed herself once the battle was over by ripping off the veil covering her and her homunculi and walked over to where Mikhael stood.
Her hand struck Mikhael’s cheek. A murderous light flashed across his eyes when Odrias restrained him. Odrias shook his head from the far side of Mimi and in an instant, the anger vanished from Mikael’s eyes.
“Why did you open the door?”
Mimi aggressively pressed on.
“Just why did you open the door?”
“It was a door that had to be opened anyways.”
Mikhael answered as he rubbed the cheek that had been struck. A bone chilling hostility rose from Mimi’s eyes.
“Can you even call that an excuse? Can you be so shameless after looking at the tragedy you’ve caused?”
“Tragedy? What tragedy? The real tragedy hasn’t even occurred yet.”
Mikhael spat on the floor as he turned around. He peered at Mimi who was glaring at him through the corner of his eyes as he spoke in a frosty tone.
“It appears that you’re not familiar with my father, Willie Gilford. You shouldn’t interpret his words so literally.”
“… what does that mean?”
“My father said thus: secure the area around the dungeon for a week. But was that really all that he wanted? I don’t think so.”
“My father probably desired us to finish exploring the deeper areas of the dungeon. Rather than wasting our time for a week doing nothing.”
“I don’t understand why we have to follow orders that weren’t even given?”
“This is the proof that you don’t truly understand the social conventions of the Ancient Kingdom.”
Mikhael treated her as though he was scolding a child. The man in a butler attire met eyes with Mimi, then spoke in a low voice with a nod.
“As master has said, we must hurry. If Master Gilford discovers that we didn’t manage to gain any results by the time he returns, he’ll write us off. I hope you’ll keep this in mind as we progress from this point on.”
Mimi did not speak any further. Even as Mikhael and gang disappeared deeper into the dungeon, she stood blankly staring at the floor with an expression that showed that she didn’t quite understand the situation around her. Sungchul didn’t disagree with her sentiment, but Other World was full of irrationalities such as this. A collection of people with strange social conventions was bound to occur.
“Miss Mimi, are you upset~yeyo?”
A homunculus lingering around her feet carefully asked the question.
She didn’t reply. The other Homunculi who had been keeping quiet began to speak.
“Don’t fret, Miss Mimi! As long as we’re around, Clearing this dungeon is super easy~yeyo!
“While we’re at it, we can hurry this up and just take that thing~yeyo!”
“And then you’ll make us into real fairies~yeyo, not homunculi!”
At that moment, a man stepped out from the darkness in front of her. It was none other than Sungchul. Mimi briefly hesitated, but she regained her calm expression and spoke in a soft voice.
“You. You’re still alive?”
Sungchul brushed past her and took in her face, expression, the emotions in her eyes, the magic hidden within her thick robe, and each of the homunculi huddled beneath her feet.
‘She definitely is not someone to be taken lightly.’
She was ready. In many different ways. He couldn’t see her stats, but regardless, he could clearly see that Mimi was an experienced magician. Along with the sparkling eyes of the Homunculi beneath their iron masks. After finishing his cursory observations, Sungchul opened his mouth to speak.
“I won’t die to something like Cave Elves.”
“I see. Also, it seems that you are quite capable in stealth seeing as even my little guys couldn’t detect a thing.”
Sungchul didn’t respond to unnecessary inquiries. Instead, he moved on to the purpose for which he revealed himself to her.
“What’s that about? That thing which your Homunculi were speaking of .”
A look of surprise appeared briefly on her face.
“Did you come here not knowing about it? Or are you sizing me up?”
“Well, it’s fine either way considering that you and I have different circumstances. I’ll tell you because allies can be found in all kinds of circumstances. About what they were talking about.”
Mimi created a small sphere and sent it towards Sungchul. It was a marble of knowledge. Sungchul snatched the marble and accepted the information within. His eyes were soon filled with bright letters.
[Crown of the King of Nahak]
The mighty avian race, who commanded the heavens and the earth, were buried underground and annihilated. The sole survivor, the king of the avian race had sacrificed the entirety of his species in exchange for magic power seldom witnessed in history, but he too succumbed to ruin. Find his final resting place. And obtain his crown. The one who obtains the crown will taste a bit of what it means to be a Nahak.
Reward – Indeterminate
Sungchul who read the long message looked back at Mimi’s callous gaze and spoke bluntly.
“Is this what you all are looking for? The crown of the Nahak race?”
“The crown commands an incredible amount of magic power. There is a legend that tells us that whoever obtains the crown will be granted that incredible strength.”
“Why are you telling me this, I wonder.”
“I don’t know. Maybe it’s because there is no way you’ll get your hands on it even if I tell you.”
Mimi spoke as such and then lightly tapped her head with her finger.
“If you don’t have the knowledge I have that is.”
She made a meaningful smile, then spoke again.
“You. You’re hiding your strength, aren’t you?”
It was a straightforward question. There was no reason to hide it now. Sungchul nodded.
“I like your honesty. Why not be a bit more honest at this point.
The atmosphere around her shifted slightly. The cold hostility in her voice warmed up, and the wariness in her eyes went away. Mimi spoke in an indifferent tone.
“How strong are you?”
Sungchul didn’t hesitate in answering her question.
“I’m probably the strongest human in this dungeon.”
Mimi looked a bit surprised, then asked with a bit of mischief in her tone.
“Even more than Willie Gilford?”
Sungchul opted to remain silent on that question. Mimi laughed brightly.
“That last question was a joke. Although, I’m a bit surprised that you’re stronger than those idiot Sword Masters.”
She held a soft smile as she led her Homunculi forward.
“I don’t think we were done speaking” said Sungchul as he glared at her back.
Mimi turned slightly and answered with a smile in her eyes.
“If you’re as strong as you say, we’ll meet again at some point. We’ll pick up the story where we left off then.”
Mimi disappeared into the darkness with her homunculi. Sungchul looked at her fading figure with indifference.
‘It looks as though this dungeon is definitely hiding something beyond my expectation.’
Something within him began to ignite once again.
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