I Never Run Out of Mana - Chapter 87
Chapter 87 – Unknown Dungeon (2)
“It looks rather strange.”
The Marble of the Supreme Ruler did not drop despite taking down the Alroses.
I was planning to move to the next location.
Many bloodstones were floating above the swamp.
The drop rate here was different from regular dungeons.
Roughly half the monsters had dropped stones.
Just like the stones, all the dropped loot float above the corpses of the monsters.
However, there was one that was hidden in the swamp.
It had not disintegrated despite being pounded by the transcended Meteors.
Intense flames just kept dancing on it.
I couldn’t even analyze what it was using the Eye of Insight.
Picking it up, I brushed off all the grime.
It made me wonder why it had such weight to it when it had caught my foot, despite its size only amounting to a fingernail.
Even looking at the shape of it didn’t give me any clues as to its use.
It was definitely an accessory, but it wasn’t a ring or a necklace.
It looked like a pendant of some kind.
The pendant was green and in the shape of three leaves.
I scanned it using the phone app.
-Gem of Recovery-
*Strengthens weapons and armor.
*Successful strengthening results in 10% increase in health recovery
*Success chance: 10%
(Can be stacked up to 5 times. Each stack decreases success rate by 1%.)
“Hm… Doesn’t it seem iffy?”
It was an item that strengthened weapons or armors.
However, the success rate was low.
Still, it did give a nice bonus effect.
It meant that if all the strengthening is successful, my natural regeneration speed would be 1.5 times faster than normal.
It seemed that this item could only be obtained from here.
I felt the greed for the pendants, but there was the hassle of having to search through the muck of the swamp to find them.
The Unknown Dungeon does not close until it is fully completed.
However, I did not have the luxury to relax here.
If I stayed here for a couple more days, they could be holding a funeral outside for all I know.
“Hmm.. Perhaps this might be possible?”
One solution did come to mind.
However, I wasn’t convinced that it was going to work.
Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
The dungeon that was filled with ambience was now replaced by the roar of the avatars.
These guys had a cooldown period of 60 minutes.
However, more than enough time had passed for them to be ready again.
I looked at their faces in silence for awhile.
“I… I think it’s possible…?”
“Yeah…. You’re all going to do well. Probably….”
One blue and two reds.
I had decided to have these three partake in a little mudflat experience.
I stretched out my hand towards them with the gem.
Until now, these avatars obeyed all my commands without question in combat and moved as I willed without any issues.
They looked towards what I held in my hand.
I began to explain to the avatars.
“Yeah. Can you see this?”
Instead of answering, they were heavily breathing out flames and frost.
“You’re going to search for this.”
While looking at the avatars, I put my hand into the swamp, swirling it about.
“Whew. What am I doing.”
I couldn’t help but laugh in regret.
That’s when it happened.
I thought that I was expected too much of the avatars.
However, the avatars began to move.
Perhaps understanding what I was doing, they bent down their giant bodies.
Stabbing their weapons down on the ground, they began to search through the swamp.
Each time they moved their arms, I could hear their thick armor scraping each other.
They’re trying to harvest clams… I mean, gems, with those huge bodies.
It was quite the amusing sight.
There’s a saying that compliments can even make whales dance.
“Yes! That’s it! You’re doing really well!”
“Whew. I’ll teach you about lowering your voices later.”
Not missing this moment, I raised the gem.
Giving the brightest smile in the world, I put the gem to my chest.
It was similar to the how the daycare employees would try teaching exercises to children.
The next thing I did was to toss the gem into the duffle bag.
My explanation was finished.
There was not a single word, but there probably wasn’t any better way to make them understand.
Now, all I had to do was to confirm it.
I wasn’t expecting much, but I was hoping that they would at least find the gems.
“What. Are you laughing right now?”
Their shoulders bounced up and down.
The fierce faces they had was in an expression of either happiness or annoyance that I had never seen before.
Looking at that, instead of being mad, I couldn’t help but laugh.
I spoke to the excited bunch.
“Whew. As I expected. Yeah go play. You guys have been very helpful to me all this time.”
“However, you all stay put. Don’t come to where dad… I mean, where I am at.”
It seemed that I was hoping for too much from them.
Well, they were plenty useful in combat and hunting already.
However, my last resort was a failure.
Now I really couldn’t waste time anymore.
Putting behind the avatars who were having fun playing in the mud, I launched off at full speed.
I had no idea what the scale of the dungeon was.
To make sure that I was clearing all the monsters properly, I ran along the wall.
I couldn’t afford to miss a single one after all.
It didn’t take long for me to see a group of monsters in similar force like the last one.
The hunting method didn’t change from last time.
Instead of a whole day, it only took 8 hours to take down all the monsters.
I came back full circle to the starting point where the entrance was.
I was also able to obtain a variety of loot as well.
10 Marbles of the Supreme Ruler.
Despite the horrible drop rate, I was able to obtain 10 of them due to the sheer number of monsters.
This meant that if I took all of them at once, I would obtain an invincible body for 10 minutes.
On top of that, my offensive capability would double.
The other spoils were as follows.
1 gauntlet and 1 wristguard.
20 accessories that included rings and bracelets.
I was even able to obtain 5 Essences of Transcendence.
And for the first time, I was able to acquire a belt.
Taking into account that I had only hunted for 8 hours, there was a lot of loot that I obtained.
Unfortunately, the armor was the same one that I had obtained previously.
However, I was sure that other than the armor and Awakened Essences, these items could not be obtained anywhere else than the Unknown Dungeon.
It was a huge mistake to leave the duffle bag next to the avatars.
The accessories and essences could be stored in my pockets, but I had to carry the weapons and armors.
I had to resort to a primitive method of tossing the equipment forward and running towards it.
I looked around the entrance.
It was to check if I had left any equipment behind.
I was sure that this was where I entered from.
However, both the avatars and the duffle bag were nowhere to be seen.
The exit should form at either the center of the dungeon or the end of it.
To find both the avatars and the duffle bag, I raced to the center of the dungeon.
The exit was in my sights.
Sadly, it seemed that hidden bosses didn’t exist in the Unknown Dungeon, since the exit formed right away.
It wouldn’t make any sense, but I hoped at least a mimic would exist here.
It was then.
I could hear the avatars’ Fear.
From the howling I heard, it seemed that they weren’t that far away.
But it seems like their Fear is changing into laughter… I must be imagining things, right?
I headed towards the sound.
“What’s so good about playing in mud that’s making you laugh this much?”
It was quite a sight.
I said to play in the mud, but they must’ve swam in the swamp.
Noticing me, they came to me at once like dogs that have been waiting for their owner.
“Quiet! Let’s go. But it looks like you’ve discarded your weapons completely though?”
All I had to do now was to shrink them and exit the dungeon.
It happened as I was calling to them.
“What. You want to play more? No! Way! We don’t have the time.”
With a stern tone as if training pets, I spoke to them.
However, one of them was running far away.
“There’s a saying that those that start late get into it more. Now it’s not even listening to me.”
Doing this much for them was enough of an accomodation for them.
It was a favor I did for them because we were allies that fought in the same battlefield.
Heading towards the exit, I shrank them.
The two that were the size of houses shrunk to the size of my fist.
Just like that, they sat on my shoulder like parrots.
Thinking that the other one would follow me on their own, I was about to continue on.
“Huh? These guys….”
Jong Ho and Ho Jin guarded the entrance to the dungeon without as much as a sip of water.
Jong Ho was spewing out swears while trying to deny the reality of the situation.
“You idiot. Acting cool all by yourself…”
Ho Jin who stood next to him was silent.
Ho Jin was definitely older than Jong Ho.
However, since Ho Jin understood how Jong Ho exactly felt, this kind of informality didn’t bother him much.
Min-Cheol had entered the dungeon around 9 pm.
It was now nearing 6 am.
Ho Jin, who was staying silent, opened his mouth.
“It’s already 6 am.”
Almost as if waiting for his words, Jong Ho immediately blurted out something that had absolutely nothing to do with current conversation.
“Hyung-nim! He’ll come back alive for sure.”
“Yeah, I think so too. First, we should at least call Min-Cheol’s mother. I think she would be worried a lot by now.”
Hearing Ho Jin’s words, Jong Ho couldn’t help but grimace.
It was to be expected. I mean, how could they explain this current situation to Min-Cheol’s mother.
That it’s been 9 hours since he clashed against the radical faction and we do not know if he’s alive or not?
It seems that your son has died?
“Ha… This is driving me insane.”
“We’ll have to break the news to her as carefully as possible. It’s the best we can do right now.”
Jong Ho fiddled around with his smartphone for a bit.
His hand stopped when the screen showed the contact info for Min-Cheol’s mother, Mrs. Park Se-Ran.
He stood there for awhile, looking up at the sky.
His deep sigh betrayed a number of mixed emotions.
A resolute expression was made as he made the call.
“Mrs. Park. Hello? It’s me, Jong Ho.”
-Mr. Jong Ho. To call me in this early hour, what’s the occasion?
“Well… It’s that we suddenly went on a vacation.”
“Yes. We weren’t able to tell you earlier because it was a decision in the moment.”
-Hey, I understand. At that age, it’s normal to be like that. What about Min-Cheol? Did Min-Cheol go as well?
“Yes, that’s right. I guess he was really tired, because he went to bed after showering. That’s why I’m calling you instead.”
-As I thought, Mr. Jong Ho is very mature. Don’t worry about me and go have fun out there. Please tell Min-Cheol too.
“I’ll do just that.”
-Whew, I wasn’t even able to send him on a graduation trip…. Thank you Mr. Jong Ho. Please treat him to many delicious foods and wonderful sights.
“Yes…. Don’t… Don’t worry about a thing.”
Jong Ho was barely able to hold in a sudden burst of tears.
It was almost as if a heavy stone was pressing against his chest.
Through the phone, the voice continued.
-Then when are you all coming back?
“Two nights, three days is what was planned, but we could be staying here a bit longer. We’ll make sure to call you in between….”
It was then.
The entrance to the dungeon shook, and Min-Cheol walked out.
Seeing that, Jong Ho couldn’t help but let out his tears.
He responded to Min-Cheol’s mother.
“We’re… We’re coming back now.”
-Hm? Now? Why so suddenly? Come back after playing some more.
“No, we’ll come back now. Right now.”
“Hyung-nim, Mister. I’m back.”