I Never Run Out of Mana - Chapter 75
Chapter 75 – Ghost Is Moving
One of the three leaders of the radical faction, Ghost, came in.
Dark Lady, who was in the middle of reading through a report on the dungeon explosion, was not pleased at Ghost’s visit.
Despite Ghost’s lack of interest in the internal power struggle of the radical faction, he was still one of the leaders that stood on the same level as Joker and herself.
There was always a possibility that he could turn with a hidden blade.
With a bright smile on his face, Ghost spoke.
“Hey… If you saw someone arriving, you should at least greet them, Dark Lady. What about Joker? You still haven’t found him?”
“Where did he go? Our leader Joker? It amused me how he charged as if to kill if I made fun of him.”
“Ha… What’s your business?”
“Aren’t you curious? If he really did enter the Unknown Dungeon, or…although it would be impossible, but maybe he was killed by someone?”
“I asked what your business was, Ghost.”
“Cold as usual. No reason. It’s been awhile since we have seen each other in the meeting with Zekill, so I thought to drop by.”
“So you’re done with your business now?”
“Are you telling me to leave already? You’re being too harsh… Oh! Is that the report on the project?”
With a playful expression, Ghost pointed the report on Dark Lady’s table.
To his action, Dark Lady frowned.
Giving a sharp glare at Ghost, Dark Lady began to gather the paperwork.
Looking at her actions, Ghost spoke.
“Pfft! Dark Lady, are you doing that because you think I’ll sneak a peek? You’re a lot cuter than you let on.”
She clenched her fists, clearly angered.
The killing intent around her seemed to become visible.
She did not enjoy Ghost’s carefree attitude.
Dark Lady spoke in an aggressive manner.
“I do not understand how… you are still able to hold onto the role of leader. I even doubted Zekill’s abilities. All thanks to you. I had doubted it when he placed a crazy clown like yourself on the seat of leadership.”
“Hm… Sometimes, I think so too. I’m not someone who’s good at climbing the ranks, so don’t hate me too much. And don’t you know I don’t have any interest in projects like that?”
“Is there anything you’re interested in?”
“Dunno. Wanna guess?”
“You aren’t interested in anything. Business, honor, and even Zekill and his subordinates. To be fair, your class and trait, and even your name is like a ghost, without a form. There’s no way I could understand.”
“Wow! What you said just now, were you that curious? If you want to know, come to Gangwon-do to play. Let’s talk over a meal. I’ll explain everything. How about it?”
“Can you cut it out with that modest act?”
“Whew… Please get out of my sight. Unlike you, I’m not someone who is always idle.”
“Alright. Alright. I’ll leave quickly. But…..”
For a split second, Ghost’s face became serious.
Turning around, he spoke as held onto the door handle.
What he spoke, it could’ve been serious or a joke.
“Stop wasting Necklace of Searching. Joker is already dead.”
“Didn’t you understand me the first time? Stop joking around and get out!”
“Pfft. I’ll come back later to play. See you.”
After leaving the room, Ghost muttered as if speaking to someone else.
His expression wasn’t really a smile or a frown, and wasn’t expressionless either.
He had a twisted expression, as if many emotions had been all crammed into one face.
His mad mutterings slowly became clearer and clearer.
“Joker… Dead…. Yangpyeong… Someone… Ha.. Pff-hahaha!”
“Hm… I’m not sure if this is the correct answer to your question, but a portal to another dimension had been opened before.”
“Are you sure it’s not the Lich King dungeon? The gate that forms next to the exit, I mean.”
Jong Ho, Ho Jin, and me.
The three of us were gathered at the office.
I had told them about the abilities behind the marble and the swords, and was asking about the Unknown Dungeon.
When I had obtained the highest ranking Lich King’s armor set, I remembered that a gate had formed next to the exit: the Door to Hell.
It was the 2nd boss room, where Lich Kings of all 7 ranks appeared.
It was possible that what Ho Jin was talking about was the Door to Hell.
Noticing the reason behind my question, Ho Jin spoke.
“Are you talking about the Door to Hell? That’s not it.”
“Oh… Then is it really the Unknown Dungeon.”
“I can’t say for sure, but would you care to listen?”
“Yes. We have to try to succeed. Please tell me.”
“Let’s do that then. This happened around 5 years after I joined the association, around 15 years ago.”
“Min-Cheol, doesn’t it feel like Jo Hin hyung-nim is reading us a bedtime story?”
“Hoho… It was the 25th anniversary since the portals began forming. The association went into a state of emergency. As it was every year, a portal that gains a growth ring would explode. You are probably aware of how the monsters that appeared after level 20 were on another level. The Awakened were given only a year. The growth you could achieve in that time was laughable….”
Swallowing down his spit, Ho Jin continued to speak.
“… Just like every year, the portal exploded without fail. Thankfully though, a single portal had exploded. It was a level 25 portal, where only physical attacks would work. 300 warriors and 100 healers in the association were deployed.”
“There were that many Awakened in the association back then?”
“Yes. Guilds had just started to form around that time.”
“Continuing on. Out of the deployed Awakened… only a hundred returned after defeating the boss. Out of the 400, the survival rate was only 25%.”
“300 Awakened were killed….”
“At the time, the Awakened that were exiting the cleared portal couldn’t help but stop.”
“Why is that?”
“It was because two exits were formed.”
“Hm… From what you’ve said so far, it sounds like the Lich King dungeon.”
“Yes. That’s right. Just like with the Door to Hell, a gate that was shaped differently from the exit formed.”
“If that’s the case, is there anyone who went in there?”
“Yes. There was. The major at the time, Park Joon Sik, headed in.”
“Did he come back alive?”
“No. Sadly, he went missing.”
“He made a reckless choice.”
“Yes. He made all the survivors leave through the exit first. Since it was something he decided all on his own, no one knows what he really was thinking.”
“Hm.. So you’re saying that the Unknown Dungeon was the portal that opened back then?”
“Ah… Please think of it as a gate to another dimension had opened within the dungeon.”
After Ho Jin finished speaking, I sunk deep in thought.
It was to figure out the reason behind why the gate formed.
That lasted for a brief moment, as I opened my mouth while looking at Ho Jin.
“I can narrow the condition required for the portal to form into three possibilities.”
“Are we thinking the same thing?”
“Yes. Hyung too?”
“Yep. The first possibility is that the gate forms when a portal the leveled all the way from level 1 explodes. But there were a lot of portals that exploded from level 1 to 25. Since the gate only formed in the level 25 portal, it’s highly unlikely.”
“Correct. The second possibility is that there is a low rate of the gate opening in the level 25 portal.”
“That’s right. You really did study a bit before Awakening. O-gugu.”
“There’s one other possibility. The third one. The condition is that many people died….”
“Almost as if sacrifices of human life must be made in the dungeon, a certain number of lives must be lost before a portal could be formed. Is that what you’re saying?”
“The second and third possibility seems more likely.”
“Yes. I also think so too.”
“Min-Cheol. Did you say that you won’t become much stronger, even with level ups right now?”
“That’s right. The stamina and dexterity stats are important too, but you have far greater gains from artifacts.”
“Hm… How about you invest a couple of days?”
“In the level 25 the dungeon?”
“Yeah. Even with the low probability, it could open.”
“I have to start going to school again soon… Do you think I’ll have enough time?”
It was already 3 days before the school break would be over.
Even if I didn’t want to, I had to go, but I really wanted to avoid it.
It was then. Ho Jin spoke while having a smile that resembled that of Santa.
“Guess Jong Ho didn’t tell you yet.”
“Ah.. My mind’s been wandering all over the place. Totally forgot because of how excited I was for the Balrok ring, hyung-nim.”
“Huh? What is it?”
“Hohoho.. Mr. Min-Cheol. Even if the break is over, you don’t have to go to school.”
“Yeah. You’ve been expelled! When school starts again, the people from the association will come to get you.”
“Did you drink again today? Are you going to say, ‘I want to put on the ring too!’ again?”
“Hey! Hey! I told you to forget about that!”
“How can I forget something like that?”
“I took care of it. However, you can’t enter the dungeons right now with the ID that’s in your own name. Since you can use the ID that I gave you, there shouldn’t be any issues.”
“You aren’t the type to joke around like Jong Ho. Is it for real?”
“Yes. It’s the truth.”
“Hyung-nim didn’t work a long time at the association for nothing. Just like he said, all you have to do is be cautious on your use of the ID and get stronger.”
“Wow… This is amazing. Thank you, Mister.”
“Hoho. No need to thank me. Thanks to you, both Jong Ho and I are getting stronger.”
He didn’t go into detail about the method.
Ho Jin had somehow exempted me from a year of school I had to still finish.
It just came to me now, but it felt like waste that Ho Jin didn’t leave the association earlier to come to me.
“Hm.. For now, I’ll see if I can get anything else from the level 34 dungeon, and then head for the level 25 one. After seeing the weapon and marble that drops from the Unknown Dungeon, I can’t help but covet it.”
“Yeah, do just that. But how long are you going to save skills into that thing? It feels like an hour has passed… Isn’t it going to explode?”
“Ah.. That’s right. I need to make it a habit to save on it even while I talk.”
I took Balrok’s Treasure Storage that I’ve been unconsciously saving skills on off of my hand and handed it toJong Ho.
Since I poured in all of my attack skills in there, it won’t be long before Jong Ho and Ho Jin are able to grow at an incredible rate like I am.
It was possible that they would be faster.
Unlike me, who was leveling the skills while hunting, they would have access to maxed out skills.
Most monsters would melt before any retaliation can be made.
Ah! I totally forgot about the 2nd Awakening.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to call it the greatest achievement humankind can currently think of.
The items I would need from the level 34 dungeon were the artifact obtained after defeating the hidden boss and the defective essences.
Since I wasn’t able to get another one after Awakening the Eye of Insight a second time, I wasn’t able to scan it to find out the real name.
No matter. I was planning to use these essences to Awaken all the A+ to S ranking attacks and shield skills.
Since I gained a huge benefit from Awakening the skill a second time, it was highly likely that Awakening the other skills would draw out their hidden potentials as well.
The Unknown Dungeon. Defective essence. Powerful artifacts.
I didn’t have to go to school now, but my homework had increased.
Would it be more fitting to say that my greed increased?
“Then let’s go hunting.”