I Never Run Out of Mana - Chapter 66
Chapter 66 – Joker
“I need those swords again.”
Hearing my words, Jong Ho remained silent for a while.
I could not even hear the sound of breathing over the phone.
“What. Did the call end? Hello?”
“Has it begun?”
His voice was far heavier than all the times when he declined the rare items I was offering to him.
It was almost as if I was talking to someone else entirely.
“Hm… I guess so?”
“You probably wouldn’t go after them if you don’t know where they are and you aren’t ready to do so.”
“Yes. After meeting with Mr. Kim Ho Jin, I was heading to the midget’s office to use Warp when he came to me.”
“Yes. Since he himself appeared, it doesn’t look like it’ll end until I settle things once and for all.”
“Do you have a plan?”
“Of course. I have a strategy that would shock even Zhuge Liang.”
“Pfft. What’s the point of asking. Your plan probably amounts only to something like ‘Go in and kill them all,’ or something like that. Is there anything I can help with?”
“Correct! You already know well. If there is one thing you got wrong, it’s that the plan is more like ‘Kill all those that come to me,’ or so? Thanks to Proof of Oath, my mother should be safe. It’ll be tough for you to take them on, so I don’t really have anything to ask of you.”
“Let’s have dinner together today at least. I’ll finish up hunting early today and contact you.”
“Perhaps… the final supper?”
“You’re a real piece of work. Cracking a joke at a time like this. Sigh….”
“What about you hyung? You’re so cruel! Trying to send me off right away, I guess I don’t need to worry about the funeral.”
“Shut up! Don’t say stuff like that! I’ll see you later. I’ll bring the swords.”
I pretended that I was carefree as best I could in front of Jong Ho, but in reality I was slightly worried.
One of the three leaders of the radical faction who even has a subclass, Joker.
I had fought the Noblesse guild as well as Jin.
It was obvious that he was going to incomparably tougher compared to what I’ve faced before.
In case this happened, I poured effort in many ways, and grew as strong as I could. However, I couldn’t know how strong he was until I fought with him.
If there is one good news, it’s that the only person who knows of my existence is Joker.
Not sure what made him seek me out in such a hurry though.
If I can take care of him cleanly, I shouldn’t be bothered for a while.
The next day, I received a call from Ho Jin.
With a promise of becoming allies, I was satisfied.
After receiving his call, I immediately headed towards him.
Since the fight with Joker will be tomorrow, I needed every bit of useful information I could obtain.
Since he was in the association for 20 years, I was sure that he’d have some useful advice at least.
After meeting him, I entered stealth with him and headed for the level 13 dungeon.
Using the fake IDs, of course.
“Whew. Finally, away from prying eyes.”
“Guess you’re quite upset.”
“Yes. I think I’ll be holding onto this grudge for a while. Here is what you requested of me from before.”
Ho Jin brought out an Awakened ID.
He had already left the association, but by using his contacts, he was able to obtain it with great difficulty from Se-Jin.
This ID looked identical to a normal ID, but it wouldn’t send data to the association even after scanning it on the scanners located in front of the dungeons.
It also did not require any fingerprints, so you could think of it as a universal key, really.
“With this, you should be able to enter any dungeon of any level as you please. Without leaving a trace, of course.”
“It was made to test out the scanners when they malfunction, and there are only a few of them in existence. This could cause Se-Jin problems, as they do regular inspections. Whenever that happens, please lend it back to us for the brief duration of the inspection.”
“Don’t worry about that, I’ll do as you say.”
“Here. Take it.”
“Hm… This proof of our alliance, I’ll take it two days from now. I don’t think I’ll need it right now. Or it could be that I won’t need it at all.”
“What do you mean?”
It’s already decided that we’re on the same boat.
There was no reason to hide it from him.
There’s a saying, two heads are better than one.
I continued to speak.
“I’ll be meeting with the radical faction. To fight them, of course.”
“You probably know already, but there are 3 leaders underneath the overboss in the radical faction.”
“Out of them, a person named Joker is gunning for me. To be concise, he wants my ability.”
“Yes. I’ll reveal it to you after this.”
“I also know Joker as well. Back when I-jin Han was the president of the association, my primary task was to investigate Joker of the radical faction.”
Previously, I received a text that the association was purchasing Manticore’s Soulstone that dropped from the level 12 dungeon.
On the text, the name I-jin Han was on there.
It’s been only a few months, but I guess a new association president took office.
“Joker, Ghost, and Dark Lady. Only a few in the association and government know of their existence. The previous president I mentioned before, he was planning an attack on them before they attacked first. However, before his plan could be carried out, he went missing, and some rotten man by the name of Choi Man Seo took office.”
“The classified mission that targeted the radical faction was canceled, and the president of the association that pushed for it disappeared? Doesn’t it look like the radical faction had a hand in this?”
“Yes, I think so as well. Seeing that many association members tried to gloss over his disappearance, I couldn’t even predict just how many of the radical faction members were hidden in here.”
“I see. Can you tell me more about Joker?”
Then Ho Jin told me information I already knew.
Out of the three leaders, he had the greatest combat capabilities, with the rare executioner class to boot.
However, the information he told after that, seemed like it’ll be useful in the fight to come.
“Joker is a person who only focused on his offensive capabilities. It shows that he has no talent for any defensive abilities.”
“What do you mean?”
“From the information I gathered back then, I was able to learn that the three leaders fight amongst one another to determine who is on top.”
“Strength is political power. Seems exactly like something they would do.”
“That’s right. And this was decided by the overboss, so there’s nothing more to add. There is no information on Ghost, as far as I know. He really is a ghost. Not even his ability… That leaves Dark Lady and Joker.”
“Dark Lady, like the other leaders, also has a secondary class. Tanker, as well as the assassin class.”
“Defense and offense. Not lacking in any field.”
“Yes. But the important thing is that Joker was able to get through her iron clad defense. Not sure if she wanted to look good in front of her boss, but she used a lot more assassin class skills rather than tanker skills. Guess she wanted to show the boss her offensive capabilities.”
“However, unlike Dark Lady who was a mess after taking countless hits, Joker didn’t receive any damage. Even though Dark Lady gave up on defense to go on the offensive, she could not inflict any damage on Joker. It was because he used the Dodge Aura skill from the executioner class. Seeing that, she began to focus on her defense. Her offensive capability would go down, but she was aiming for an extended fight. It was also to recover the damage she took, most likely.”
Listening to his explanation, instead of finding out the weaknesses, I was only learning about his strengths.
It was as if he was trying to cut down my fighting spirit even before the fight began.
Stopping him, I asked a question.
“Wait a minute. Didn’t you say his defense was weak? From what you told me about Joker so far, doesn’t he sound like someone who is strong in both offense and defense?”
“Sorry. My explanation was too long. The point is that the shield Joker uses is different from regular shields.”
“Does it not have a cooldown and cast time?”
“No. It doesn’t get affected by the amount of damage absorbed. It blocks a certain number of attacks.”
Regular shields break apart faster the stronger the attack it absorbs.
To increase the amount absorbed, the shield skill would need to be leveled up.
But from what Ho Jin was telling me, Joker’s Dodge Aura did not have a cap on the damage it could block.
No matter how powerful that attack was, it would be counted as a single block of an attack.
Ho Jin continued.
“Even though there is not much information out there about the executioner class, information on most of the skills the executioner class has can be found in the association. However, I could not find any information or any similar skills to his Dodge Aura.”
“Since their fight ended in less than 5 min, I do not know if he has any more hidden skills.”
“Definitely a tough one to face against.”
“However, Dark Lady’s continuous attacks towards Joker eventually went past the Dodge Aura’s number of dodges, and when it did, apparently Joker took a massive amount of damage, even though Dark Lady focused more on defense so that the attack wasn’t particularly strong. Thus, I cannot figure out what the hidden skill is, but I know that he only put stat points into strength.”
“Now I understand what Jin meant. An ability solely focused on 1v1.”
“Are you really going to respond to Joker’s taunt tomorrow?”
“That’s right. I have the information I need to take him down, so I should face him.”
“There are some rankers with righteousness similar to General Yoon Jong-sun, but they aren’t strong enough to face them. That’s why I’m counting on you.”
“I understand what you mean. The day after tomorrow, I’ll be back safely to receive this ID.”
“Okay. I’ll hold onto it well until then. Please be careful.”
“Then, I’ll be off.”
Entering stealth, I left the dungeon.
There was nothing else to prepare.
I had to face off against him at some point, but the time to do so had just arrived a little bit earlier.
Clearing my head, I headed home.
In the room filled with darkness like the skill he used, Joker was deep in thought.
He was thinking about making Min-Cheol submit so that he can use him for the dungeon portal explosion project.
He did not even think of the possibility of defeat.
Even if he had infinite mana, he had a few skills beyond ranking that could penetrate the mana shield after all.
It would only be a matter of time before he could win back the trust of Zekill that he lost to Dark Lady.
It was then that someone knocked on his door.
“Sir Joker. It’s 21:00, as you said.”
“Right. It’s already time.”
Joker grabbed his weapon.
As if to prove his class, each hand held Executioner’s Sword.
Twin swords known for their smooth curves.
The edge on each sword had teeth like a shark’s.
In front of the swords that chilled most blue with fear, it seemed that no one could stand in front of them without cowering.
Unless it’s something serious, he usually does not bring weapons with him.
Seeing as he did now, his subordinate became tense as he spoke.
“We’ll follow. Should we ready up about 20 of our members?”
“I’m fine. Take care of your individual tasks.”
The subordinate left the room.
Joker planned to use Min-Cheol solely as a mana tank.
If Zekill found out about Min-Cheol’s existence, he would see the unlimited potential he has and would probably raise him as a leader.
With a crazed smile, Joker grabbed onto the handles of his swords.