“Looks like everyone was safe this time as well.”
During dinner time at Ninety Nine Nights, all of the Chosen Ones gathered around and brought their glasses of champagne together in a toast. Up to this point, everything was almost exactly the same as the dream that the succubus had shown him. Sungjin glanced at Mahadas as he held onto his own glass. Mahadas was, as usual, holding onto a teacup instead of a wine glass.
As he saw this, he thought to himself, ‘It looks like I unwittingly became careless because the raids had become easier as of late. If I was late in realizing that it was an illusion, it could have been dangerous to the other teammates.’
However, as he was musing to himself, Sungjin met Serin’s gaze and unconsciously averted his eyes. For some reason, he felt guilty. It is said that dreams are reflections of the unconscious mind after all. Regardless of the fact that it was a dream created by the succubus, the succubus definitely had customized the dream from his own unconscious mind. Just like how Franz had dreamt of Nada, and Hiroaki had searched for his Meguri-sensei.
‘That said, are the guys who were embarrassed today, okay?’
Sungjin looked at Franz and Hiroaki. The two were eating silently, while keeping their heads bowed as if they had committed a sin. It was probably because they had behaved in an unsightly manner in front of their female teammates. Sungjin thought to himself,
‘I was lucky that my partner was Mahadas.’
Baltren, who did not know the reasons behind this, looked around the somewhat quiet table and asked,
“Oy, look here. Why is everyone’s mood so down? We all came back alive. You’re acting as if someone died!”
He was right. Normally, at the table it was these two, Franz and Hiroaki, who were boisterous, but now they were sitting down far more quietly while saying very little. Serin and Nada were also normally on the talkative side, but today they did not talk as much, perhaps because they had seen the lowest point of their allies today. As for Mahadas and Mustafa, they originally did not speak much. Unable to stand it any more, Sungjin stood up and began to talk.
“Today’s raid was not easy, and the Hidden Boss was especially unique. There were a few people whom I had saved from danger, but you must be more careful next time, as the Hidden Bosses do use these kinds of strange gimmicks. Succubi, for example, aren’t particularly the best of opponents for men.”
Baltren’s eyes opened wide as he asked,
“Succubus? That was the Hidden Boss this time? Those things that make you have erotic dreams? Those sexy demons?”
It seemed that Baltren was unable to find the succubus. Sungjin nodded his head as he replied,
Baltren grinned widely as he said,
“Then I should have pushed myself harder to try to find it. Right. How was it for those of you who met her?”
Baltren was unable to read the mood as he kept asking his teammates. Because of this, Franz and Hiroaki bowed their heads even more. Sungjin butted in and steered the conversation into another direction.
“Don’t be so greedy to fight the Hidden Bosses. While it’s good to be able to improve by receiving good scores, the most important thing is to reach the last raid together. Understood?”
Franz and Hiroaki nodded their heads. Sungjin continued,
“Then I’ll distribute the items today. Operator.”
Sungjin searched inside his Operator Cube. Sungjin took out the items that he had received from today’s rewards and shared them with his allies.
“This is a Legendary Ring… Looks like it’ll be suitable for Miss Nada.”
Sungjin handed over a ring inset with a black pearl to Nada. The item’s information appeared between the two.
Thanatos Call of the Dark
Necromancy(IV) – Increase the stats of summons summoned through Black Magic by 40%.
Craving of Death (III) – Reduce the health of your summons summoned by Black Magic to 0 over 10 seconds. During this time, your summons gain 3 times their normal stats.
When the last light of hope has been snuffed out
The humans will open their eyes to a new desire.
Nada’s eyes opened wide as she read the description.
“Wow the abilities are great.”
“I knew that it would be a great fit for Miss Nada the moment I saw it.”
Sungjin handed over the ring to Nada without much thought. He didn’t notice that Serin, who was watching, turned her head away unhappily.
“Thanks, Kei. I’ll put it to good use.”
Nada held up the ring as she said,
Soon the ring that had been laying on her palm wrapped around her ring finger perfectly. Sungjin then proceeded to pull out a pair of boots from his cube.
“Eh, this is a pair of boots with magic resistance…”
The quiet Franz raised his hand.
“Oh! If that’s the case then I think I’ll need them.”
“Is that so… Take a look.”
Sungjin held up the boots. Another information window appeared.
Nihilan The Unbeliever’s Boots
Legendary Boots Armor 44%
Faithless(IV) – Increase the magic resistance of the user by 40%. Decrease all magic effects of the user by 40%.
Certainty(IV) – Removes all debuffs. Removes all buffs.
Those who believe will begin to doubt,
and those who doubt will begin to believe.
“But there’s a penalty for when you’re using magic.”
Having read the abilities to the end, Franz sat down in his seat again.
“Oh… Is that so. I’ve been using magic more nowadays…”
Instead, Hiroaki now raised his hand.
“Then I’ll use them, master. Since I only use sword techniques.”
“Ahh, great. It’s good that someone could use it.”
Sungjin handed the boots over to Hiroaki. Hiroaki held the boots as he bowed respectfully to Sungjin.
“Thank you, master.”
The item distribution was over. Sungjin then continued,
“Also… The number of Black Coins earned today is…”
As Sungjin spoke, a number appeared above Sungjin’s cube. Serin, Nada, Franz and Baltren, who had participated in several raids with him until now, looked at the number without much ado. However, Hiroaki and Mustafa, who had just joined recently, looked incredibly surprised. Sungjin looked at them as he said,
“It’s this much. Since I don’t really need them, I’ll give it to whoever needs them.”
Mustafa cautiously raised his hand.
“There’s… There’s an item that I want that’s on the auction house. Would it be possible for me to have some coins?”
Mustafa looked incredibly awkward at the thought of receiving Black Coins from Sungjin. He had found it hard to believe when he had first heard about it in the past.
“You’ll give them away? Black Coins?”
“It’s not entirely free. The people who received my coins are expected to grow that much stronger and help me later in the raids.”
Sungjin nodded his head, conveying that Mustafa should not worry. He added,
“Yes. Take as many as you need, Mustafa.”
Mustafa looked faintly apologetic as he received some coins.
“… After these raids are over, I’ll repay you. Even if it’s just by cash.”
Sungjin smiled and nodded. Having finished distributing the coins, Sungjin looked at his allies. Though there was a small hiccup, everyone was safe. Sungjin said to them,
“In any case, it’s great that everyone was able to finish the raid safely. It would be great if all eight of us were able to stay until the end of the raids.”
Everyone nodded in response to Sungjin’s words. Sungjin continued,
“Also, as always, we’re still continuing to look for allies. Those people that I mentioned before.”
Sungjin was referring to the members of the previous ‘Final 10’, which included Edward.
“If you meet them or anyone else that is particularly strong, don’t hesitate to call me.”
Everyone nodded their heads in response to Sungjin’s words. And just in time, Dalupin came bearing a pizza baked with a golden crust, and a aromatic spaghetti. It was time to begin their meal in earnest.
“Wow, it looks delicious!”
“Dalupin, great work today as well.”
“Thank you for the meal, Dalupin.”
While everyone picked up their spoons, chopsticks, forks and knives, Sungjin quietly left them and made his way to the bathroom. He took out the star shaped accessory from his vest and said,
He stole a glance at the future 24 hours from now. Just the same as today, tomorrow, the Chosen Ones were enjoying dinner at Ninety Nine Nights in Sungjin’s dimension. Sungjin quickly counted them.
‘… Seven, Eight.’
The number ‘eight’ had two meanings, First, it meant that all of the Chosen Ones were safe. Second, it meant that they did not gain any new allies.
‘While it’s a relief that everyone is safe… It’s a bit disappointing that we didn’t gain any new allies.’
As Sungjin mused to himself, he left the future and returned to the present.
The next morning, Sungjin sat the Chosen Ones down in front of him and briefed them as usual.
“Today’s raid is Ser’Corist Prison, but it’s only a prison in name. It’s a place more like a mental asylum that’s filled with monsters. Generally, you’ll face humans, elves and humanoid monsters like orcs. However, because they’re all a bit crazed, they will come at you with attacks that are difficult to predict. They’ll be doing things that are a bit difficult to imagine, such as ripping their arm off to use as a weapon, or stabbing through their stomach to attack you when you’re behind them. Please be careful of this point.”
“Yes.” The Chosen Ones all replied to Sungjin’s words as one.
A few of the hunters showed slightly nervous expressions, but Sungjin did not attempt to allay their worries and let them be. This was because their nervousness could potentially help them in coming back alive. So long as Sungjin did not do anything particularly strange, everyone would be safe tonight. Despite knowing this, Sungjin said to the Chosen Ones,
“Then everyone do your best and stay alive. If there’s something dangerous, then call me without fail.”
“Yes.” The team replied back again.
Soon afterwards, Sungjin and the Chosen Ones were teleported to the eighteenth battlefield, Ser’Corist Prison.