“How dare he… to the Priestess!”
The four dark elves upon regaining their senses rushed towards Sungjin, but without the Priestess’s magic, they weren’t much more than regular monsters.
Sungjin’s swordplay and Cain’s teeth took them down one at a time. Sungjin, who had turned all of the Dark Elves into corpses, began to calculate in his head.
‘Ghastly Wail’s cooldown is 10 minutes… so at this point… I need to first find the hidden piece, then… find ‘that guy’… It should take about 10 minutes.’
He spoke to the Operator immediately after organizing his thoughts.
“Operator, I’m going to use Treasure Hunter’s effect. Let me know if there’s a hidden piece here.”
Soon, the Operator’s voice spilled out from the cube
[An oracle that reads the past and sees the future]
[All who meet him cannot cease their awe at his mystique]
[People gathered like clouds; drawn to him by the rumors]
[But he has never read the stars, only people]
[People’s hearts are ultimately their fates]
[It is but an easy task to foretell destiny if you can read the heart]
Sungjin lightly scratched his forehead. He didn’t care to listen to it twice. He chose to seek help from Besgoro.
“Besgoro? Did you hear it?”
‘I heard it.’
“Can you make any sense of it?
‘No, but… considering it is referring to an oracle… we should go visit a fortune teller, shouldn’t we?’
It was an advice that anyone could give, but it also didn’t look as though struggling about it here would get them to an answer any faster.
“Let’s just get out of here first.”
Sungjin left the temple with Besgoro on his head and his two summons: Soldamyr and Cain. The city extended out like a cone with this temple at the center. It was possible to look out across the entire city with one sweep from here.
“A fortune teller… A fortune teller…”
Sungjin muttered to himself as he looked around the city when Soldamyr spoke from his side.
“Master, over there.”
At Sungjin’s inquiry, Soldamyr pointed towards a direction. Halfway down the cone stood a cylindrical building with a domed roof.
“If you carefully examine that dome… you can see something like a design on it.”
Sungjin carefully examined, as he was asked, for a few seconds. A half-open sleepy eye could be seen when the magic light, that floated above the entire city, moved above the dome. The image appeared to be drawn in a type of illuminating material that sparkled brightly when viewed under the light. Soldamyr spoke again at his side.
“That half-open eye is the eye that looks into truth. An eye made of mirrors. It represents Jeremiah, one of the two Great Magicians.”
Based on Soldamyr’s familiarity with it, the pattern seemed to have some magical significance.
“In reality… it is not a typical symbol for an oracle, but… if they were related… that place looks highly likely.”
Still, Sungjin regarded it seriously.
“Let’s look around once again. If we step down from here, it won’t be as easy to find another place.”
Sungjin walked around the entirety of the temple once more with Soldamyr while scanning across the city.
“Yes, did you see something?”
This time, Soldamyr pointed towards the end of the city; an area guarded by soldiers. There was an area veiled by a dark cloth towards the inside of a cave. Sunjin spoke full of confidence.
“Ah~ That place isn’t it.”
“What? That looks suspicious no matter what…”
Sunjin spoke, facing him again
“That place has the hidden boss, so look somewhere else.”
Sungjin knew very well what that place was. It was where he first met a ‘hidden boss’. In his previous life, Sungjin and his party had gone to explore the caves right after defeating the raid boss.
“Is that so?”
“Yes, so is there anywhere else other than the cave?”
“Well, other than those two places… nothing else seems to stands out. It could be because we’re at the peak… how about over there?”
The third place Soldamyr pointed was the entrance area that Sungjin passed over. It was the direction Sungjin had come from, where the area was not illuminated by the pale glow of magical orbs of light but a red glow from real burning flames.
“Ah, not over there. It looks like other hunters are hunting over there.”
“Ah, you’re right.”
Listening carefully, one could hear a battlecry.
‘It sounds like things are going well.’
Sungjin looked over the city one final time with those thoughts in mind. No matter how hard he searched, no other location stood out.
“Let’s head over to the location with the sleepy-eyed pattern.”
“Magic once more…”
Sungjin asked Soldamyr to cast his spell once again. However, Cain and his wide eyes staring back at him came into view.
“Soldamyr, can you hide Cain as well?”
“Yes. I have enough mana, but…”
“There is about 6 to 7 minutes until the summoning expires.”
The Summoning duration is 15 minutes, and he had been summoned since the start of the raid, so the numbers added up.
“Ok. Just get me over there… I’ll do the rest.”
Sungjin turned and spoke to Cain.
“Cain, you can follow along by our scent, right?”
“Walk the dark no matter the light, Shadow Walk.”
Sungjin, Cain, and Soldamyr became hidden through the spell. Before stepping down from the temple, Sungjin took a peek over at the area covered with the black cloth. He gauged the distance to it from the dome with the image of a half closed sleepy eye.
‘It should be okay to sprint that distance once I find the hidden piece’
Sungjin came down from the temple moving from shadow to shadow. On the way were lightly armed and armored civilians and patrols with medium armor and armaments, but Sungjin did not provoke them. With only 10 minutes having elapsed, this was the fastest cleared raid on record and bypassing normal mobs was a big part of it. There was a clear benefit to passing by all the regular monsters. Sungjin felt confident that he could clear both hidden elements within 30 minute time limit. A very talented party would be able to take down a boss in thirty minutes. It met up with the duration limit.
‘Well, if there’s any time left. I can hunt some normal mobs.’
Sungjin continued to walk through the darkness with these thoughts. He was soon able to arrive at the sleepy-eyed dome. He could clearly see that the building was unique up close. Contrary to the plain and simple buildings surrounding it, the entire building was engraved with elaborate symbols: sun, moon, stars, and astrological signs. Along with some traditional oracular symbols, animal symbols such as cow, snake, lamb, and other similar animals were present. The ‘Sleepy-eye pattern’ on top of the dome was also engraved in several places. It was definitely looked like the home of a fortune teller at first glance.
‘Looks like I found the right place.’
Sungjin confirmed his thoughts as he looked towards the entrance, but the entrance had an excessive number of dark elves lined up as the hint stated.
‘People gathered like clouds; drawn to him by the rumors’
Despite the sheer number of people gathered, the reason he didn’t notice them earlier was because all of them were completely silent as they stood in the queue.
‘I guess these people never heard of small talk…’
Sungjin thought to himself as he began to roughly count their numbers.
‘One, two, three, four…’
It looked to be around more than 10 people, and among them were some soldiers that were part of the crowd judging by their medium armor and weapons. It would be easy enough to fight them, but if he was discovered here, it seemed like he would have to face countless elves jumping out of the woodworks.
‘If I get into a fight here, It’s going to drag on for a while…’
To the contemplating Sungjin,
A low growl from Cain could be heard. It was a warning he gives when he spots some normal enemies. Sungjin knelt down and spoke to him in a low voice.
“Cain, can you lead these guys away for a bit? When it gets dangerous after you’re revealed, I’ll release the summon. Ok?”
Cain responded at a volume that matched his master.
He responded quietly.
“Ok. Go on, Cain.”
His figure couldn’t be seen, but
‘Dash dash dash’
Sounds could be heard. Cain, who came out of the shadow, appeared in front of the dark elves after a while. It looked as though a large wolf appeared out of nowhere.
He bared his teeth.
Several dark elven women began screaming in fear.
“Who is this guy?”
Some of the dark elven men drew their blades. Cain rushed forward in front of the people causing several dark elves to run, and others to chase him. Soon, the massive crowd of people that formed in front of the fortune teller’s house was gone, and Sungjin carefully entered inside.
The interior of the building was bizarre, resembling the Temple of the Snake*. The sinister symbols, stuffed monsters that couldn’t be identified, and hypnotizing patterns on the carpet stood out to him, but he didn’t have any time to spare admiring the decor. Sungjin walked right inside, and he could hear a voice beyond a thin cloth.
“Is there anything you desire, sir customer?”
Sungjin approached the cloth covering without any thoughts in particular. However, the voice spoke again.
“Hidden piece? There is no such thing here.”
‘How did he know?’
Sungjin drew back the thin cloth covering. There was an androgynous figure adorned glamorously with various jewels and makeup to a degree sitting in front of a crystal ball. While Sungjin was frowning at the gaudy appearance, the oracle was also taken back by Sungjin’s presence.
The voice indicated that the figure was male; A male with makeup. The surprised man drew a hidden blade from beneath the table, but the fact that he was a hidden piece and not a hidden boss indicated how weak he was.
Sungjin’s blade cut through his neck, and he fell where he stood. Sungjin began to look around his surroundings. No matter what, the crystal ball stood out the most.
It was something common enough for all fortune tellers to have a couple of them. Sungjin examined it more carefully, but the Operator’s explanation window didn’t come up. Sungjin threw it roughly towards the ground and looked around once more.
‘Just what could it be…’
At this moment, Besgoro added his thoughts on the matter.
‘Reading one’s mind. Isn’t that it?’
Sungjin looked around and spoke to him.
“What do you mean and where?”
‘Over there. The earring that he is wearing.’
Sungjin looked down. A necklace on his neck, a nose ring on his nose, and he had an earring in each ear with different colors. One was blue, and the other was violet.
‘No… Look at the light…’
Sungjin held the man’s neck and shook him roughly. Whenever the light hit him just right, the violet earring on the right revealed the sleepy-eye symbol that had been seen before. He felt bad, but there was no time to pull it out gently. Sungjin pulled out a knife and cut off the entire ear. The Operator’s voice could be heard.
[Congratulations. You have found the Hidden Piece]
[Jeremiah’s Eye Acquired.]
Sungjin tried to extract it from the ear, but from the outside…
Cain’s cries could be heard. Sungjin grabbed the dark elf’s ear with the earring and left the fortune teller’s house.
Voices could be heard. Sungjin hid back into the shadows and said
“Cain release summon”
Soon, Cain’s wooden figurine appeared in his hand.
“Good job, Cain.”
Sungjin gave Cain’s wooden statue a kiss and stuffed it into his pocket
*Temple of the snake Angkor wat – Temple in Cambodia