Note: Last chapter in the Hidden Piece clue line a slight change has been made. The line ‘To roll over mounds of treasures with covered wings’ has been changed to ‘Rolling over mounds of treasures to cool his heated wings’. The reason being there was a spelling error in this sentence which led us to translate it as ‘covered wings’ instead of ‘to cool his heated wings’. When we read this chapter while translating we checked back and realised the error. Change has been made in the last chapter as well.
The hunters fell silent after the second hint. The first one had been confusing enough, but the second one was even more obscure. But the pale faced ‘Royal Ranger’ raised his hand and said
Sungjin pointed at him like an instructor at school.
“Yes, please speak your mind.”
The Ranger glanced around before opening his mouth.
“I don’t know about the hidden boss… but I think I understand where the hidden piece might be located. First hint is the Red Path. I believe this indicates that we should follow the lava flow. Since there’s nothing red here except lava.”
“Second, a place only he could go, I think this also indicates something that has to do with lava. Because of its size… it’s ridiculous to think we can’t go anywhere that the dragon can go otherwise. If you have to move through Lava to get to it, it would be difficult indeed to get through it unless you were the dragon.”
A likely explanation.
“Finally, cooling the heated wings… I think this is the key. His wings became heated. In other words, it is a place where lava could drip onto its wings.”
At his words, everyone exclaimed
Sungjin let the part about the hidden boss slide for now and said
“I feel that the Royal Ranger’s deduction is probably right. Then let’s go and try to find this hidden piece.”
Hidden boss needed the consent of everyone present anyhow.
“Let’s do that.”
Sungjin glanced at the Immortal. The Immortal stepped forward when he noticed Sungjin look at him.
“Ok let us go.”
The Hunters followed the slow flowing Lava while cleaning up the mobs. Half of them were killed by the Master Hunter and his giant Wolf, but there were no complaints.
The monsters were difficult enough to kill with 9 of them working together. Although an outrageous percentage of contribution point was flowing towards the Master Hunter, the hunters did not raise a word in complaint. They must have thought to themselves
‘He is just that kinda guy.’
After a long search through the tunnels, they arrived at a large open space which was slightly smaller than the Dragon’s main chamber.
The most eye-catching feature of this open space was the slow moving lava fall. It was quite a distance away, but even from this point, it looked intensely hot and uninviting.
But when Sungjin was looking at it, he recalled the Royal Ranger’s words.
‘Red path, only he could pass… and heated wings.’
And this open space was quite suspicious. It was a very wide open space, yet not a single monster could be found nearby. Sungjin moved closer to the lava fall. As he moved closer, he felt the unbearable heat against his face.
Sungjin ignored the heat the best he could and approached the lava fall. The size of the fall could possibly just barely accommodate a dragon. No, perhaps it was slightly smaller.
‘…it is said that a Dragon is capable of transforming into human form…’
Sungjin thought about closely inspecting the immediate area around the lava fall; The source of the lava, the pool where the lava landed, and the lake of lava where the lava from the fall slowly flowed.
But then he noticed strange fragments close to one of the walls. They were slightly different from one another, but they were similar enough. Once the hunters realized Sungjin had found something, they started gathering behind him one by one.
Sungjin stared at it intensely. And soon, he came to understand the source of the fragments.
“Those are… footprints.”
Sungjin explained to them
“Yes, footprints. They look like broken fragments… but its debris is left from stepping on lava and then stepping back off of it. Those are footprints that were left behind as the lava cooled.”
The others were impressed by Sungjin’s swift understanding of the situation.
“Oh, you must be right!”
The others followed the fragments with their eyes. The footprints led to the lava, like a red path. Just as the hint said, it was most definitely the red path they were looking for.
The hunters continued to follow the footprints further on. The red path, as expected, ended up inside the Lava Fall.
Upon closer inspection, the footprints could be seen going up the side of the Lava Fall, and suddenly stopping half way up.
“Behind the lava fall… there must be a hollow space…”
“It looks like something only a Dragon can enter for sure.”
“I can see why a dragon’s wings might have gotten heated.”
“But how can we go there?”
That was the main problem. First, flight must be a possibility. It would be impossible to even approach the Lava fall without a way to fly. Second, they had to deal with the immensely hot lava falling from above.
Being touched by the lava would melt the body before they could reach the treasure trove. Sungjin looked down upon the Ring of Chimerao. If he used it, it could make him immune to the Lava.
‘If I can enter there within 5 seconds…’
But this method had its own problem as well. First was the flying carpet. It had minimal magical protection on it as a raid reward item. But if it was damaged, he would be unable to use it for the rest of the chapter. And coming back out of the Lava fall would become an issue.
He could possibly just wait for the cool down on the Ring of Chimerao to refresh, but if the carpet were to fail mid-flight, he could fall into the lake of lava and perish there.
Dying like that after finally defeating the dragon was definitely undesirable.
‘What should I do?’
Sungjin stood before the Lava Fall and considered his options while the rest of the hunters were silently standing still.
No one could think of anything to do. But watching from afar would solve nothing. Sungjin decided to just take out the carpet and check the lava fall from above.
He then moved to the side of the Lava Fall to take a look inside and spotted a hollow space beyond the Lava.
‘This must be the right spot…’
But the space between the lava and the opening was too small; just wide enough for someone to fit their arms through.
The wide carpet, as well its rider Sungjin, would not be able to fit through there.
‘And I can’t go in sideways either…’
Sungjin decided to check from above. Beyond the fall, the lava was slowly flowing downward. Sungjin flew above the flowing river.
Even though it was called a ‘fall’, the flow of the lava was not rapid due to its viscosity.
Sungjin watched the flow for a moment. Now that he thought of it, he recalled his fights against the Magma Golem earlier.
The Golems hit by the spell would rapidly cool and slow down.
Sungjin raised his hands towards the fall and chanted a spell along with Besgoro.
“Binding Frost! Frostbite!”
“Binding Frost! Frostbite!”
Two blasts of spells were fired from Sungjin’s head and hands. And slowly, little by little, the fall hardened.
Once the spell came to an end, the Lava had completely hardened up. The flow of Lava followed the newly formed edge, and the width of the lava fall had decreased
Sungjin directed the magic carpet to return to the side of the fall. The gap which was previously only large enough to fit a human hand was now large enough for a man to pass through.
‘It’s a success, you smart bastard.’
Besgoro shouted in glee. But it was still dangerous. Sungjin rode the magic carpet back down to the rest of the hunters and asked the ‘Blue Magician’
“Hey, you. You know how to use frostbite, right?”
He had asked Sungjin earlier how high his Magic power was. He must have known how to gauge the strength of Sungjin’s spell because he also knew the spell. As Sungjin expected,
“Yes, I know how to use it, Master Hunter.”
“Please get on.”
Sungjin made space on the carpet. The carpet was only large enough to carry two adults. Once Sungjin had the Blue Magician on the carpet, he took him back up to the lava fall.
The hardened lava was still there, but it wouldn’t last very long and would eventually melt again. Sungjin told the Blue Magician
“We are going to use magic to harden the lava here which will further reduce the width of the fall. You understand right?”
“Yes, I watched you do it.”
Once Sungjin was done speaking to him, he cast the spell together with him.
“Binding Frost! Frostbite!”
He used the spell to harden the edge of the lava flow.
[Warning: Low mana]
Sungjin who had cast his spell until he was drained out of mana thought
‘This should be enough’
And returned to the side of the lava fall. The width of the cascading lava had shrunk even further. The empty space hidden behind the lava was now fully visible.
It was now large enough to freely fly into the hole. Sungjin looked back at the others.
“I think we can pass through here now. Anyone who can fly…”
Even before he finished his sentence, the other eight hunters
“Power to defy Gravity, Levitation!”
Used magic to float into the sky
“To me, Adaram”
Summoned a giant eagle
Or used active items to step into the air. One or two hunters were unable to fly, but they were helped by the others around them and approached the Lava fall.
‘I see… these people made it this far for a reason.’
Sungjin thought as he entered the opening first. Inside of the opening was a much larger, wide open space. It was a space nearly as large as the Dragon’s main chamber.
This chamber contained an unimaginable quantity of gold and treasures. He had seen a similar view in the Magician’s Ivory Tower, but this was on a completely different scale altogether.
If the Ivory Tower’s room was something of a ‘Treasure room’, this was akin to ‘A Mountain of Treasure’.
The ‘Blue Magician’s’ mouth dropped.
Sungjin didn’t show it, but he too was surprised.
‘What an absurd amount.’
Sungjin picked a suitable spot to land and lowered the carpet. The place he stepped on was a mound of gold. Sungjin thought to himself
‘His hobby was rolling all over the treasure? I can certainly see why.’
The hunters who followed from behind stared at the room with bloodshot eyes. And several people tried to shovel the gold into their cubes but were sorely disappointed.
Sungjin picked up one of the gold coins lying around. The sparkling gold contained an image of a man’s face. He had a large nose but a full beard. A portrait of a slightly skinny man.
Judging from the crown, it must be the portrait of the king. Above the image were unrecognizable words of an unknown language.
‘Hmm… is this the face of this world’s king?’
Sungjin checked another coin. But this time, there was a different portrait.
The man had worn a similar crown, but unlike the previous image, he had curly hair, a flat nose, and a roundish face.
Sungjin tried checking several other coins in curiosity. Just from the ones he noticed the differences of, he could see that there were at least ten different individuals.
‘So all these coins were collected over different generations… over different eras… taking this back to the human world would… probably make you unfathomably rich, right?’
Sungjin thought has he put the coins back down on the mound. It was something that he would not be able to take with him.
‘The most important thing is the Hidden Piece.’
Sungjin said to the other Hunters
“You can’t take the gold. But the hidden piece is located somewhere around here, so please search for it.”